Jewish Community Services of South Florida Unveils the Gampel Family Senior Ride Bus

MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA – On Friday, May 10, Jewish Community Services of South Florida (JCS) unveiled the Gampel Family Senior Ride Bus in a special ceremony at the Diener JCS Family Center. Operated by the JCS Senior Ride Program, the bus provides safe transportation for local seniors from their homes to medical appointments, pharmacies, grocery stores, JCS congregate meal sites in Aventura and Miami Beach, and other destinations. The JCS Senior Ride Program has been helping local seniors for years, and now, a $50,000 gift from the Gampel family’s Embrace Foundation will ensure that JCS can continue to operate the bus in 2024. A new livery with the Gampel family name has adorned the bus since Monday, May 13.

“We want to thank Irene and Yury Gampel,” said Miriam Singer, President and CEO of Jewish Community Services of South Florida. “It is in Irene’s grandmother’s honor that we are dedicating this very significant gift to make our Senior Ride Program possible. This beautiful, generous contribution will allow our seniors to have an exceptional quality of life.”

The Embrace Foundation was founded by Irene and Yury Gampel, who have a personal connection to JCS’s mission to improve quality of life in the South Florida Jewish community. The Gampel Family Senior Ride Bus will honor Irene Gampel’s grandmother, who was born in Ukraine and lived through World War II and the nightmare of the Holocaust. Her parents managed to avoid deportation to Auschwitz and the Babi Yar massacre of Ukrainian Jews by Nazi Germany. They narrowly escaped murder – Ms. Gampel’s great-grandfather threw children off the moving trains that would have transported them to their deaths.

Unfortunately, echoes of the nightmare that Ms. Gampel’s grandmother experienced are re-emerging, eight decades later. Anti-Semitism is raging again in the U.S. and around the world, as are Holocaust ignorance and denial. Some statistics indicate that 60 percent of Americans under the age of 40 either do not know or do not believe the Holocaust happened.

By contributing their name and financial support to JCS’ Senior Ride Program, the Gampel family seeks to honor both their ancestors as well as the 6 million Jews who perished during the Holocaust. The family takes comfort in knowing that the bus will benefit seniors in South Florida, including Holocaust survivors – who serve as a living link to that Holocaust history that is so often denied. The bus unveiling on May 10, just days after Yom HaShoah (Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day), is fitting timing.

The Gampel family’s Embrace Foundation has a mission to embrace the vulnerable members of society, especially senior citizens, who are often the most vulnerable. The foundation believes they must be protected and provided with the quality of life they deserve.

Seniors in the South Florida area who need transportation assistance can call JCS Senior Services at (305) 673-6060 to coordinate a ride with the Gampel Family Senior Ride Bus.

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