Couple gives back to Parker Jewish Institute


| bdoda@queenscourier.com |

It was 1998 when Jerry and Gloria Landsberg decided to take their birthday celebration to the next level – by serving ice cream to every staff member, resident and patient at Parker Jewish Institute for Health Care and Rehabilitation.

Twelve years later, they show no signs of slowing down.

“They choose to celebrate by sharing their love and respect for everyone here at Parker,” said Martha Wolf, director of the Alzheimer’s center. “Everyone looks forward to it. They are just wonderful people.”

Jerry Landsberg – the immediate past chair of the board at Parker Jewish and longest active board member – has a storied history of philanthropic leadership and dedication to improving the quality of life for its patients and residents.

Both Gloria and Jerry have committed themselves to programs like Planned Giving, which helped ensure Parker’s services into the future, and end-of-life care by helping create The Landsberg Community Hospice, which serves terminally ill patients and their families.

With his birthday on June 30 and hers on August 14, the couple spent Wednesday, July 21 celebrating at adult day health care, the Alzheimer’s center and each of the nine floors of the Institute.

“Both of them are very generous, we all appreciate their charity and what they do for us,” said Elaine Pao of the Chinese adult day health care program.

Gloria, 71, and Jerry, 76, were greeted by various parties throughout the day, with tons of ice cream as well as entertainment in the form of a pianist. Some dedicated songs included “Dancing Queen,” “You Make Me Feel So Young,” and of course, The Beatles’ version of “Happy Birthday.”

“What can be better than to have 500 people sing happy birthday to you,” asked Gloria, who is also a member of the Parker League, an organization that allocates funds for extra-curricular activities not included in the Parker budget.

Together for 54 years, they boast four children, 12 grandchildren and one great-grandchild. “It’s never bothered me being a great grandfather, but when I came to the realization that my son is grandfather, it really shook me up,” said Jerry.

After years of charitable service and with new programs still in the works, the couple plans on being back year after year for their annual ice cream bash.

 “As long as we are able we will continue to serve,” said Gloria.