The holidays look different for everyone. Meet Kass Goldfein and learn how she celebrates the season with her neighbors at Channing House.
Holidays can be the most wonderful time of the year. It seems the world glows differently. Whether your glow comes from a brightly lit Christmas tree, the candlelight of a menorah or kinara, or simply an inner glow from the joy of the season, there’s so much that makes the holidays bright.
Since Kass joined the Channing House family in March, 2019, she’s become involved in many community activities. She chairs our Appreciation Fund Committee that each fall manages a fund drive that collects money from residents for holiday bonuses for all our valued employees. “We want them to know we appreciate them,” Kass shared with a smile as she detailed how the fund works. Donations are split among the staff based on hours worked and years of service. Channing has employees that have worked here for more than 30 years. This year Channing House residents contributed 22% more than the year before, ensuring increases exceeded inflation. Surely the holiday spirit has taken over everyone involved in making the staff’s holidays a bit more special. One year a sous chef used his check for a trip to Mexico to see his father…made him cry.
Outside of working hard for the staff, Kass also serves as a maven for Jewish holidays at Channing House. That means a very busy Hanukkah season. “Judy Moss did an amazing job of leading Jewish celebrations,” she told us, reminiscing about the late resident who inspired her to step up for the holidays. “I began to help out in her memory because celebrating Hanukkah was important to so many residents.” For Kass, Hanukkah is a holiday she began celebrating with her Jewish husband. She grew up Christian, but her heart led her to convert, and she and her family have been lighting the menorah ever since.
During the 8 nights of Hanukkah, Kass leads a brief celebration. “Many of the residents who attend are not Jewish. It’s a very multicultural event,” Kass pointed out. While remaining mostly secular, the community does a good job of helping religious groups celebrate during the holiday season. Our Hanukkah celebration includes singing, eating latkes, and lighting of the candles.
Channing also has concerts celebrating the holiday seasons. Nondenominational religious services are held on Sundays officiated by a rotating group of Catholic priests, Protestant ministers and Rabbis. There are many churches within a couple blocks, an easy walk for Channing residents. In addition to traditional services, these churches often sponsor musical events including performance from the San Francisco Early Music Society. Kass enjoys listening to the bells on Sunday mornings from the Lutheran Church across the street from her balcony.
Around the community you’ll find traditional holiday decorations like red bows, bright lights and a decorated tree with a star on top. At Channing House, each floor has its own living room and dining room. Channing House residents decorate their own floors including their shared living room, dining room and hallways, as beautiful expressions of their family traditions. You can find Menorahs, Christmas trees, Kwanzaa Kinaras, creches and lots of poinsettias. No matter how residents celebrate the holidays at Channing House, the community is dedicated to enjoying the season together regardless of faith or culture.
If celebrating the holidays at Channing House sounds like the perfect way to end your year, call 650-327-0950 to schedule a personal tour today.