Breaking News: Granddaughter of Jewish Home Resident Brings Home the GOLD!!!!!
Connections to Care Mobile Hero
Home / News & Events / Newsletter / Breaking News: Granddaughter of Jewish Home Resident Brings Home the GOLD!!!!!

Breaking News: Granddaughter of Jewish Home Resident Brings Home the GOLD!!!!!

Jul 20, 2021

Oscar Szmuch, Los Angeles Jewish Home resident and grandfather of Olympic gymnast Jade Carey is celebrating her Gold Medal Win in Tokyo for Floor Exercise.

In commenting on the outstanding accomplishment Oscar shared, "I was on the phone with my best friend in Israel at 3:00am. He was watching the event live and giving me a moment by moment description of Jade’s performance and then all of the following competitors. As each one went and Jade was still first we got more excited and then her scores came up and he said, 'She won the gold!!!' I was so emotional, I was crying, he was crying. I called my daughter in Phoenix and we were all crying.

Embed from Getty Images

"We know the obstacles Jade had to overcome to win that medal and what an incredible human being she is. She is so kind, you saw on TV how she embraced each of her competitors. She is just a wonderful person."

In case you missed last week’s feature on Oscar, and his amazing granddaughter, we are running it again below.

As the Summer Olympics Kick Off in Tokyo, the Los Angeles Jewish Home Celebrates a Gold Medal Relationship Between a Championship Gymnast and Her Grandfather

It's not every day you can draw a direct line from the Los Angeles Jewish Home to the Olympics—though we do pride ourselves on award-winning care. But, this year, an exciting connection will be on full display as world-class gymnast Jade Carey competes in Tokyo for Team USA, while her grandfather and his fellow Jewish Home residents cheer her on from the Jewish Home.

Jade's grandfather, Eisenberg Village resident Oscar Szmuch, 78, is no stranger to athletic competitions. He represented the United States in the quadrennial Maccabiah Games in Israel as a marathon runner in 1989; in 2005, his daughter (Jade's mother, Orley Szmuch) competed there, as well. "We are the only father and daughter who have been in the games, and Orley was also coach of the U.S. women's gymnastics team for a competition in Argentina," Oscar says proudly.

Born in Siberia, Oscar escaped Nazi-occupied Europe with his family and fled to Argentina, where he lived until making Aliyah (moving to Israel) in 1963. After serving in the Israeli army, he made his way to America, ultimately settling in Northridge, California, where he raised his family.

"My wife and I had three daughters, and everyone has always been very athletic," Oscar says. "Orley was all-American at Florida University. One of her sisters was a very accomplished diver. I loved excelling at sports and have loved watching my girls surpass me even more."

Oscar has been widowed for more than a decade. Five years ago, facing health challenges from multiple myeloma, he moved to the Jewish Home. "I was paralyzed and needed help. Now, I'm walking again. No more marathons for me—but I work out every day, and I've never given up pushing my body to do better!" he says.

That same ethos of training and discipline has also propelled Oscar's granddaughter Jade to impressive heights of success. At 21, she is a global gymnastics superstar: On vault, she earned silver medals at the 2017 and 2019 world championships, and she was both the 2017 US national champion and the 2018 Pan American champion. On floor exercise, she won silver at the 2017 world championship and clinched the top spot at the 2018 Pan American games.

"Jade was the first US woman to qualify for the Tokyo games, and when they were postponed last year because of the pandemic, it was really difficult for her," Oscar recalls. "Now, after all her hard work, I believe she will medal. Simone Biles is the only one who can beat her, and although Simone is the best ever, Jade has beaten her twice. I'm not bragging; it's a fact!"

Although traveling to Japan to see Jade compete in person is not in the cards, Oscar won't be alone when he tunes in from the Jewish Home. "This is a great place to be because everybody really cares," he says. "From the nurses to the kitchen staff, they treat you like family." Watching his beloved granddaughter bask in the spotlight at the Olympics while surrounded by his Jewish Home family, for Oscar, is a combination that feels just like winning gold.

Sign up for the LAJHealth Newsletter, Connections.

Recent Articles

Jul 5

With 100 Years of Excellence in Senior Care, Los Angeles Jewish Home Transitions to New Name More Reflective of the Broad Spectrum of Senior Care Offerings Available to All

With a new name and continued focus on meeting diverse senior needs, Los Angeles Jewish Health meets seniors where they are in life, providing a customized senior experience. (RESEDA, CA – July 5, 2022) As it continues to build on more than a century of providing an array of high-quality residential living options and care for Southern California seniors, the Los Angeles Jewish Home is unveiling a new name: Los Angeles Jewish Health. The updated identity reflects Los Angeles Jewish Health’s commitment to offering area seniors a full complement of exceptional programs and services and a comprehensive continuum of care, whether that care is at home, in the community, or on one of their beautiful campus settings. “Over the years, as the needs of our community members have expanded and changed, we have evolved, too, expanding the scope of healthcare services we provide. It is now the right time to transition to a name more reflective of the vast array of senior care services and living options available through Los Angeles Jewish Health, while still remaining true to our mission and Jewish values,” said Dale Surowitz, CEO-president of Los Angeles Jewish Health. Los Angeles Jewish Health is a national leader in senior health and wellness. Established in 1912 in East Los Angeles to assist Jewish men seeking shelter, today Los Angeles Jewish Health cares for a diverse group of thousands of seniors each year through independent housing, adult day care, skilled nursing facilities, short-term rehabilitation, hospice services, and more. What began as a modest residential facility at the turn of the previous century has grown into a leading senior health system, providing for a rapidly growing elder population with a broad range of geriatric and specialty healthcare needs. By 2030, one in five Americans are projected to be older individuals. Seniors 85 and older are the fastest growing segment of this population and are expected to increase fivefold over the next 30 years, from four million in 2000 to 21 million in 2050.“Shifting demographics demand that we sharpen our focus to ensure we are an available senior care resource for every member of our community,” Surowitz said. “As we have for more than 100 years, we look forward to contributing Los Angeles Jewish Health’s extensive experience and medical expertise toward better health outcomes for all seniors.” About Los Angeles Jewish Health: Founded in 1912, and formerly known as the Los Angeles Jewish Home, the non-profit Los Angeles Jewish Health is the largest single-source provider of comprehensive senior healthcare services in the Los Angeles area, serving nearly 4,000 people each year. Thousands of seniors benefit from the Los Angeles Jewish Health’s community-based and in-residence care and services. Programs include: PACE (A Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly); hospice; palliative medicine; community clinics; short-term rehabilitation; and acute psychiatric care. Four campuses (Eisenberg Village, Grancell Village, Fountainview at Eisenberg Village, and Fountainview at Gonda Westside) serve seniors with options for independent living, residential care, skilled nursing care, short-term rehabilitation, and Alzheimer’s disease and memory care. In addition, Los Angeles Jewish Health is home to the Annenberg School of Nursing.
Read More
Mar 15

Los Angeles Jewish Health Resident and Holocaust Survivor Celebrates Bat Mitzvah, and 92nd Birthday, during 100th Anniversary of the first American to celebrate a Bat Mitzvah

(RESEDA, CA – March 15, 2022) History will be made at the Los Angeles Jewish Home, Thursday, March 18 as beloved resident and Holocaust survivor Frieda Thompson turns 92 on the same day she will be called to Torah for her Bat Mitzvah. This date also marks the 100th anniversary of when Judith Kaplan, at age twelve, became the first American girl to celebrate a Bat Mitzvah on March 18, 1922. Frieda Thompson, whose parents were murdered by the Nazis, still recalls that one of her mother’s final actions was to ensure her brother was called to Torah for his Bar Mitzvah even as there was chaos all around. Frieda studied for her Bat Mitzvah a few years ago, but COVID-19 prevented gathering as a community at that time. Now, with family flying in for the big day, Frieda will celebrate her Bat Mitzvah during the weekly Shabbat Eve. Service, in the Weinberg Courtyard of the Jewish Home, in front of loving family, caring staff, and dozens of fellow Jewish Home residents. When asked what this day means to her, Frieda offers, “Moses was loyal to his family and to the Jewish people. I too have always felt loyal to my family and the Jewish People.” In commenting on the significance of this lifetime milestone Rabbi Karen Bender commented, “As a small child, Frieda was forced to raise her hand and call out ‘Heil Hitler’. Today her voice rings out as a cherished leader among her peers.” Note: Media interested in attending the Service/Bat Mitzvah must be fully vaccinated/boosted/masked – and must RSVP in advance.
Read More
Mar 12

Los Angeles Jewish Home Accepts New Resident Applications

After pandemic-related pause, premier senior living facility reopens its doors (RESEDA, CA – March 12, 2021) The Los Angeles Jewish Home announced it is accepting applications for new residents, as well as participants in its community-based programs, after an extended pause in admissions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The reopening coincides with the one-year anniversary of the nationwide shutdown resulting from the coronavirus. Dale Surowitz, CEO-president of the Jewish Home, says welcoming new seniors will enable the organization to continue its century-long tradition of providing for the region’s frail elderly. "Seniors in Los Angeles depend on us for care. During COVID, ensuring their continued health and safety meant refraining from bringing people in. But now that 99 percent of our residents (as well as the large majority of our staff) has been fully vaccinated, we’re relaunching the admissions process so we can serve even more members of the community." The Home has immediate openings for seniors who need hands-on skilled nursing assistance. "The Jewish Home typically has wait lists for available spaces in our skilled nursing facility; it’s uncommon to have availability as we currently do," Surowitz says. "This represents a rare opportunity for people to get into the Home now, before we reach capacity, which will happen quickly." With the easing of the pandemic, the Jewish Home is also welcoming seniors to its Brandman Centers for Senior Care, a Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE). Through the program, residents and seniors who live on their own receive medical services, physical therapy, social services, and nutritional counseling, as well as exceptional adult day healthcare that engages them intellectually, physically, and socially. Applicants to the Jewish Home have access to a broad range of programs and services beyond PACE and skilled nursing. From short-term rehab to hospice, independent living, home health, and memory care, the Jewish Home provides support to residents at their varying levels of need. Through the Jewish Home, seniors are also eligible for the organization’s new Brandman Health Plan. Designed for the chronic patient with special needs, the plan offers benefits to anyone in Los Angeles County who is Medicare-eligible and has diabetes, chronic heart failure, cardiovascular disorders, or dementia. Seniors and their families can reach out to the Jewish Home for more information about current openings and availability. "We’re here for new applicants, whoever they are and whatever their needs," Surowitz says. "We look forward to learning how we can help."
Read More