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2009 Top-Rated Nonprofit

DOROT, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Centers to Support the Independence of Specific Populations, Homeless & Housing, Homeless Shelters, Human Services, Senior Centers, Seniors, Unknown

Mission: DOROT’s mission is to enhance the lives of the elderly in the Greater New York Metropolitan Area through a dynamic partnership of volunteers, professionals and elders; to foster mutually beneficial interaction between the generations; and to provide education and leadership in developing volunteer-based programs for the elderly nationally and internationally.

Programs: Concrete services that help older adults live independently in the community, which include the provision of home delivered meals, assistance attending medical and other essential appointments, onsite health and wellness classes, and a visiting doctor program. Kosher meals for the homebound delivers nutritious frozen meals each week to seniors who can no longer easily shop or cook for themselves; the emergency meals service provides meals to seniors immediately after discharge from a hospital. Shop and escort enables frail and homebound elderly to access medical care, food, and other needs by providing trained staff and volunteers to escort them to their appointments. The wellness program for seniors encourages the elderly to take an active role in their own health, offering onsite classes to improve their strength and balance, and informational sessions about nutrition and health. The homelessness prevention program provides safe transitional housing, food, and ongoing counseling to homeless older adults, and relocates them into affordable permanent homes.

socialization services connects seniors to their peers and younger generations to enhance their quality of life, reduce social isolation, and create bonds to the larger community. Friendly visiting matches homebound seniors with volunteers ranging in age from 18 to 89 for weekly visits in the senior's homes; the average length of match is 37 months. Cemetery visits recruits and trains volunteers to escort homebound and frail older adults to area cemeteries to visit the graves of their loved ones.

community services alleviates social isolation and brings the generations together in mutually supportive and beneficial relationships and enriching programs. Volunteers deliver holiday packages and meals to seniors; escort seniors to medical appointments and cultural events; teach them how to communicate by email and access the internet; and facilitate teleconference classes and support groups. Teen and college volunteers shop for seniors and participate in intergenerational art and music workshops. Volunteers receive ongoing support and training from staff, while they make new friends and contribute to building a better community.

educational services alleviates isolation by enabling older adults, caregivers, and professionals to participate in classes and support groups and obtain information about relevant services. University without walls offers educational and cultural courses, support groups, and holiday celebrations via teleconference to homebound elders. Russian university without walls offers russian-speaking, homebound seniors continuing education and esl classes through teleconference, easing loneliness and isolation, and helping them integrate into american life. To your health offers health and wellness courses and support groups to seniors and their caregivers. Through information and referral, dorot staff and trained volunteers provide guidance to seniors, caregivers and professionals about available services at dorot, and in new york city and beyond.

Community Stories

43 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Client Served

Rating: 1

Having heard nothing but praise for the work of Dorot, It was an unpleasant surprise to find the agency so callous, disrespectful and unforthcoming several years ago when I when I found myself virtually homebound and unable to shop or cook due to chronic unrelenting arthritic pain. Let me add that I was a "young" senior (in my late 60's), but that fact does not mitigate pain. In addition, I have no family whatsoever and live alone. I received kosher Meals on Wheels for a short time, and found them to be lifesavers. When the social worker came to pay a visit, she she asked a series of rude and intrusive questions that were utterly unrelated to my ability to shop or cook.
Seeing that I was obviously not living in poverty, she told me that Dorot would cancel the Meals on Wheels, and when I explained that I do not have "take out" food delivered due to its salt and sugar content, she advised me to employ a private chef. I did so for a month, but a middle class individual cannot afford a private chef for an indeterminate period of time. I resorted to shopping once a week for groceries I could eat without cooking - mainly bread, fruit, and ice cream. In spite of my total isolation, she did not offer a any visits or even phone calls from volunteers. She did give my name and address (without my knowledge or consent) to a total
stranger who -- not signing her surname -- sent me a birthday card from "all your friends at Dorot." Disrespectful and patronizing behavior on the part of the Dorot professional staff. If I had been offered a volunteer visitor, I am certain that that person would have been as respectful as the professional staff is disrespectful, and that we would have had much to offer
each other. It is a truism that the volunteer gains as much if not more from the encounter than the recipient.

1 lajournalista

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I learned about Dorot when I was in my 39'w (I'm now 65) and have been volunteering with them ever since. The reason I love them so is that while yes, they make sure that elderly people see doctors and have enough to eat and are generally cared for, their sights have always been squarely set on quality of life, on making sure that their "clients" are enjoying their latter years. As a Dorot volunteer, I've taken people to concerts and theaters, I helped one woman write a 15-page memoir to leave to her grandchildren, I helped a blind man pack for a move. But most of all, I've visited people and given them a welcome ear for their life stories, for their joys as well as their concerns. Dorot is focused on making old age a time to relish, not to endure.

Previous Stories
3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Dorot is about 35 years old -- I've been volunteering for them for 33 of those years. Their goal is to enhance the experience of elders in every sense -- physical, intellectual, emotional. And their preferred method is to enlist young people as volunteers to do so, those helping to bridge the generation gap for both sides. They have computer tutors, they offer telephone university, they have cemetary visits, they run the gamut. As a volunteer I have visited home-bound seniors, delivered birthday cakes, taken seniors to doctors and to concerts, helped host Thanksgiving dinners, visited seniors in the hospital, all kinds of things. I even once helped a senior write her memoirs, to leave for her grandkids. And it is as much a joy for me as it is for the seniors. When I'm finally too old to volunteer, I will transition into Dorot client -- they are the best organization for serving seniors I have ever seen.

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2

Board Member

Rating: 5

In 1989 I was searching for a hands-on volunteer opportunity and learned about DOROT. After a thorough interview I was matched with Julia for weekly Friendly Visiting. That first visit started my involvement with this exceptional organization. As our visits progressed, I became more aware of the in-depth concern and respect that DOROT shows its elders and volunteers throughout its many programs. This lead to an invitation to join the board where I have served on the executive committee as secretary, president elect, president (4 years), board chair, and vice president. I have taught a course on University Without Walls, our teleconference classes, for 10 years; I have experienced Cemetery Visits, Thanksgiving Banquets, Holiday Package Deliveries and a number of other programs over the past 22 years. DOROT is nonpareil in serving the elderly and the community. I know this as lay leader and as a volunteer. This year’s audit showed that 83% if every dollar that was raised went directly into program. I am proud to have served this organization and to watch the smiles on the faces of the elderly. Join us!

Review from CharityNavigator

1 cathyweiss

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Dorot is an organization that provides help to the elderly, on a personal level. As a volunteer, you get immediate gratification of providing companionship, friendship or just support for someone in need. Dorot has the most professional staff that works with the volunteer to assure the best effort is being delivered to the "clients".

I look forward to cooking for a group of elderly folks weekly and I know, they too look forward to my visit. We have a connection I never knew I could have. As I meet new people, I know, they too, will become my friend as the weeks go by. Sometimes I 'm one of the first people they learn to trust again, and it feels very special to be "let in" to their life.

Previous Stories
3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had a wonderful experience visiting a woman who taught me how to be the woman I always wanted to be. My friendly visiting friend was an 80 year old non ambulatory brilliant woman, who lived life every day to the fullest, with passion and no fears. I fetl exposed at first, at her forthrightness. Her directness was so raw. Her experiences leaving pre-Nazi Belgium to NY showed me how fearlessness and following your instinct is the best way to live life. Now, I enjoy another volunteer experience at Dorot. I get to be humbled every Tuesday night as I cook dinner at the HOmeless Prevention Program for elderly people who have somehow ended up homeless. As we watch Jeopardy together, I realize how special each person is, as everyone has some individual area of knowledge others don't. I feel so priveleged to meet these brave souls come together to rebuild their lives. I thank Dorot for these experiences! My life is so defined by my time with Dorot.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

One of my most memorable visits involved a 90 year old woman who was almost completely deaf. She had suffered a devastating fire in her apartment 5 years prior, during which all of her possessions had been ruined. However, instead of dwelling on this unfortunate event, she explained to me that she was not upset over it, but rather thankful for her life and for the people that helped her after the fire. The way she was able to have such an appreciative and optimistic outlook on her tragedy really put things into perspective for me, as do all the seniors I visit every week. Every senior has a different lesson to teach. For her, it was to not dwell on past events, and find the light in every dark occurrence. I am reminded of what's really important in life, and being a junior in high school, I all too often think that college applications are of this immense importance. Its hard to believe that I am in fact the volunteer; I always think of myself as the student or friend. Its these mutualistic relationships I form that have me falling in love with DOROT over and over again.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Dorot gave me a new appreciation for not only the greater Jewish community, but also the elderly. I've met people from all walks of life with all kinds of interesting perspectives.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

In my experience, Dorot has been a really great help to seniors living in Manhattan. However, it helps not only seniors, but it is really great for teenagers like myself to be able to get to know what it was like for the seniors growing up, and being able to relate to them. There is nothing more satisfying than to see the smile on a senior's face when they get a visit on their birthday, or when they figure out some new cool thing on a computer. On one occasion, a senior needed help installing a voice recognizer on her computer in order to type things just by speaking. After I helped her install it, the thing worked so well that I strongly considered getting one myself.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I am the co-chair of the Social Action Committee of my synagogue. For the last four years we have individually and as a group participated in Dorot's Thanksgiving meal delivery programs in which volunteers deliver a Thanksgiving meal and stay for a friendly visit with a homebound elderly client. I also personally participate by making phone calls for their delivery programs for Rosh Hashana and Thanksgiving, The feedback that I get by making those phone calls from people who speak so very positive of the work of Dorot is very gratifying to me as a volunteer. Dorot means generations in Hebrew, and is a play on the Hebrew phrase, L'Dor V'Dor from generation to generation. Volunteers of all ages benefit by seeing how vital and productive some seniors can be well into their nineties; and last night I spoke with a happy centenarian who will be attending the Thanksgiving Banquet in a wheelchair with her aide. Such interaction gives me hope for my own later years (I am 68, an age that I once thought to be old.)Dorot is a non-sectarian agency under Jewish auspices.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer for Dorot for several years now. Their work is absolutely outstanding. I gone on birthday visits and seen the faces of seniors light up when they are told that their friends at Dorot are thinking of them on their birthdays and have sent a birthday cake. I have accompanied seniors on cultural events to museums, and watching how Dorot enables the seniors to interact and engage with other seniors is outstanding. I strongly believe that if seniors are kept busy, socially engaged, and culturally active, they will continue to be young at heart and enjoy each moment in life. What better gift could be given to people in their older ages? The work of Dorot is truly impacting and I have seen firsthand how their work has changed the lives of so many seniors (and all volunteers gain a tremendous amount as well!)

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had been searching for a volunteer assignment with senior citizens for months when a friend told me about DOROT. I applied to DOROT and before long I was making more progress than I had with any of the previous organizations I had contacted. Pretty soon, I was interviewed and cleared the screening process. I have now been a DOROT Friendly Visitor volunteer for two months and it has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I was matched with a delightful senior citizen. We thoroughly enjoy each other's company and look forward to our weekly visits. We have taken walks, gone to the movies and shared meals together. I have also accompanied her on Doctors' visits. She, on the other hand, is very encouraging and supportive of me. We both feel our lives have been enriched as a result of our relationship. Thanks to the amazing staff at DOROT for bringing us together!

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A well-organized and well-respected organization. The mechanics of large-scale projects are so beautifully organized. For example, for holiday package delivery there is an orientation with a short video and a Q&A period. There are also options (such as the chance to make a card or choose a partner and/or recipient) that allow you to tailor the experience to your group (in my case, my children's desires).

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

this is a fabulous program to assist, participate and help the elderly...it's a great community service....the appreciation by the recipients is wonderful...its a great learning experience.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

One of the most amazing programs assisting NYC's elderly. Provided me with a life changing experience, who ever knew older people could be so much fun.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Dorot is one of the best organizations I have volunteered for. It has given me so much joy and wisdom. I have learned so much from the stories of the seniors we visited. If there was a genuinely altruistic and servicing organization, DOROT would be it. The organization brings smiles to so many peoples' faces every day and is so heavily depended on that its non-existence is almost impossible to imagine. It is definitely a GREAT non-profit.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Dorot has made a huge impact on my life! As I began volunteering as a chessed project for my bat mitzvah, I soon realized that Dorot is more then just a generous organization, but a group of amazing people who really care about how they can make a difference. My greatest memory is probably is my first food delivery. As my mom and I walked to the man's apartment, all I could think about is how scared I was. When the elderly man opened the door, and i saw the huge smile on his face, all my worries were gone, and a realized how much my visit meant to the man. It has now been two years since my first Dorot visit, and I can't wait for my next one!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Over the summer of 2008, I volunteered at Dorot because I wanted to create a difference in people’s lives. I took part in a program called friendly visiting. I, along with one or two other volunteers, would go to the Dorot senior’s house and exchange a friendly, forty-five minutes to an hour conversation with them. The time I spent there had been very enjoyable because the seniors were pleasant, humorous and most importantly, they were extremely grateful. I remember having one visit with a senior; she literally clasped onto my hand and repeatedly thanked me for coming. A simple forty-minute conversation might not meant so much to other people, but to these seniors, that are alone because their children have moved far away, it meant everything. Ambitious

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered at DOROT last summer. The staff members are helpful, and they do an incredible job of assisting Seniors.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Dorot is a wonderful organization which touches the lives of elders in so many special ways. The staff and volunteers are thoughtful, caring and dedicated Sharon

2

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I had a wonderful time. DOROT helped to show me that doing what you love is more than just receiving a paycheck. When I did all this work I wasn't bothered with the fact that I was doing it for free because I was helping out so much people is what was the real paycheck. I touched people and people touched me. I heard great stories and I got some great words of wisdom as well. If I could do the summer over I could and if I could change anything about the experience I wouldn't.

2

Former Volunteer

Rating: 5

Until she passed away, Betty was an integral part of my life. Sharing bi-weekly visits with a friend, we would bring a Shabbat meal on a Thursday and visit for a while. During these visits her life would enfold, the joy that came from friends, the gratitude to Dorot for its wonderful programming, the pain and frustration that comes with ill health and not always understanding how the system works. But through it all was the simple jooy that comes from knowing that someone cared to hear the answer to "How are you?" On occasion, we wouuld bring our children to visit Betty, too. They would talk and laugh -- sometimes play a word game. A win-win situation all around. Dorot knows how to make a shidduch, and for that I will alwys be grateful.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My husband and I have been volunteering for Dorot for many years. Our best experience with them is helping to take some of the elderly people to the cemetary to visit their loved ones. Dorot supplies the car and pick up at their homes. We were escorts and supplied moral support. For most of the elderly they have no other way of getting to the cemetaries since it would be such a long and difficult trip.I don't know of any other organization that provides this kind of service.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Lucky for me that Dorot discovered Peter and Hildegarde Lynn. I get to visit this beautiful, cosmopolitan couple whenever they're up for it, and I get to hear their amazing stories of Austria, Germany, music, literature, and art. Together we're all laughing all the time. They're also inquisitive about my work as a high school teacher. I so enjoy going out to Riverside park with Peter. But it's hard for me to keep up with him in his uber-fast electric wheelchair. He was apparently once a great driver, but even now he's still showing off his driving skills with his wheelchair on the sidewalk. Lucky for me that I discovered peter, Hildegarde, and Dorot!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My name is Mira, and I'm 12 years old. On the Passover of 2009, my father and I brought food and visited Beautrice Samuels. This is a wonderful program because I had a wonderful experience talking with her, and so did my father. Not just did we get a lot out of this visit, so did she. The first visit was so amazing for me that I wanted to visit her again. So when my father, my brother, and I were in the neighborhood, we called and visited her to chat again.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have had a wonderful experience as a volunteer at DOROT. The entire staff is warm, welcoming, appreciative and genuine. I have had the opportunity to get to know many seniors through holiday banquets, weekly chorus groups, museum visits and regular visits in the office. Honestly, I have enjoyed every day that I've spent volunteering for this organization and am grateful for the experience which has been so rewarding.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

DOROT genuinely tries to bridge the intergenerational gap between youths and elderly. I loved my experience at the DOROT office. They embraced my differences and gave me the very unique opportunity to learn about a rich and vibrant Jewish culture, as well as expose me to the elderly community (something that I would not be exposed to otherwise).

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Dorot is a sponsor of my organization LHO Besides staff, Dorot supplies excellent help in organization, activities and wonderful volunteers who help our organization function more efficiently. We are thankful for their advice and assistance. Our job as a NORC has benefitted tremendously from Dorot,and allowed us to serve our senior population more effectively. I believe Dorot is worthy of receiving a reward in the Jewish Choice awards

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Dorot has given me an opportunity to meet a senior citizen in the community who has led an amazing life. I love hearing her stories and wisdom. I recently moved to New York where I hardly knew anyone. She used to sit a home alone with rarely any visitors. Now, we have each other. I'm so glad I found Dorot!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Volunteered for holiday food delivery to senior citizens. The program was well-organized and efficiently run. The seniors were very appreciative of the food deliveries, and the organization maintains consistent, long-term contact with the people it serves, so it's not just about one-time contact.

10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The opportunity to volunteer at Dorot, and form a meaningful relationship with a brilliant and appreciative elder in New York City has enriched my life and my teenage son's life. Together we regularly visit a homebound elderly man, bringing him some holiday-related foods supplied by Dorot. When the elderly man expressed a concern about his health to me, I called Dorot who put me in touch with a social worker who said she would follow-up. Dorot is responsive and respectful of volunteers, not an easy thing to find in NYC.

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had a wonderful experience volunteering at DOROT. It far exceeded expectations. I learned a lot of valuable life lessons from DOROT seniors who I visited with.

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I'm a Friendly Visitor with Dorot, and it's my favorite part of the week. I get to sit and talk with a retired English professor who knows so much! We read Shakespeare, discuss Broadway shows, and talk about our day-to-days. It's such a special program. I'm helping him, but he's helping me, too. It's a chance for me to slow down and reflect on life. And life in New York City can get pretty manic! Dorot also has a unique program called University Without Walls, where homebound older adults can come together for academic courses and discussions via phone. I helped my grandfather sign up. He's thrilled! Hopefully it'll make the long Pennsylvania winter a little brighter. And that's Dorot's mission. It makes lives a little brighter.

7

Volunteer

Rating: 4

My wife and I along with our two children participated in a Birthday Visit for a senior. It really hit home how important this was to the senior when I called to confirm that morning and was concerned I may be calling a little early but she sounded real excited and told me she was already dressed for us. She enjoyed sharing stories about her family and I think this was a great experience for everyone involved.

8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered with DOROT through a one-day UJA-Federation event. A co-volunteer and I visited an elderly woman and brought her a Rosh Hashana package. As we sat and talked with her, we learned this woman's remarkable story of surviving the Holocaust and of life in New York after the war. It was truly amazing to sit with this woman for an hour and to hear her story.

11

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering with DOROT for less than a year and I love it. Every week I visit my "elderly friend" in her home and spend at least 2 hours with her. She recently lost her husband and is often depressed; does not have much family, and is not able to do much on her own anymore - she now has me to kepe her company each week and to talk to, we have a special bond. DOROT is such a special organization for organizing this type of volunteer effort; the elderly population is so often overlooked. Not only does DOROT organize these programs, but also puts together well-organized holiday events and package delivery events for holidays. I plan on being involved with DOROT for many years to come.

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Over the past few years I have had wonderful volunteer experiences with DOROT. I have done several holiday package deliveries, started as a single woman and continued until the birth of my second son. My older son still talks about our Passover package delivery recipient. It is the bubbie factor. My parents, his grandparents are of another generation, so unlike my own grandparents were and volunteering for DOROT allows me to share a little bit of what I so enjoyed when my grandparents were alive with my children.

9

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer at Dorot for several years, first as a coordinator for the computer tutoring program and recently teaching an Intergenerational Digital Photography class. Volunteering at Dorot has been an enlightening and enriching experience on all levels. I see young and old sharing life stories, learning and laughing together. And I have been blessed with the assistance of an extraordinary staff who has supported me in everyway.

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer at dorot for several years, first as a college student, then as a married couple, and now with my three young children. There are so many ways to volunteer: as a friendly visitor once a month; doing holiday package deliveries on occasion; or once a year as a birthday visit. (there are many more - thanksgiving dinner, teaching classes, helping with groceries...) Each interaction with a senior friend feels great to all parties involved - the seniors enjoy sharing stories with the children, and the kids love to chat with "old-time" new yorkers. The staff is also excellent. They work really well with the seniors, and are great at accomodating my schedule. we look forward to many more years working together.

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered at DOROT many times and it has always been a moving experience for me. I have visited senior citizens and delivered holiday gifts, food packages, and (or) birthday cakes. I can always see that it brightens the senior citizen's day to have a visitor and someone who will listen to them and talk to them. It may not be something that we realize, but there are so many homebound senior citizens without nearby family who are enthused to have visitors from DOROT or attend DOROT sponsored programs. I can truly see that what DOROT as an institution and as volunteers have done has truly brought happiness into the lives of so many senior citizens.

9

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I can say without any reservations that DOROT not only changed the way I viewed the elderly but also my perspective on issues facing the elderly and the importance of intergenerational relationships for both seniors and young people. I was a teen intern at DOROT from when I was 14 years old to 18 years old and last summer I returned as a college intern. I am originally from Florida, but I spend my summers in NYC and every summer I would look forward to volunteering at DOROT. As a volunteer, I was welcome into the DOROT family from day one and my relationships with the staff and seniors became stronger every year. I have so many memorable moments at DOROT, it is hard to know where to start and I will inevitably leave some out. DOROT has taught me that the elder population is greatly overlooked but of so much importance with lots of knowledge and experience to share with the younger generations. DOROT’s friendly visiting program does a great job to try and break the gap between the generations. My favorite aspect of the friendly visiting program is the birthday visits. Bringing a cake, card, and gift to a senior on their birthday is one of the most rewarding experiences I have had. The seniors are always so thankful and you know in your heart you have made a difference. Working as an intern, I was given much respect form my co-workers and much responsibility. Through presentations from different departments in the organization and outside organizations I learned the ins and outs of a non-profit organization and pertinent issues facing the elderly today. I cannot stress enough how important my relationship with the DOROT staff and elders is to me. DOROT has had such an impact on me that at Brandeis University this year I am visiting seniors at a retirement home every week and working to bring DOROT’s birthday program to my university, in effect, continuing DOROT’s mission wherever I go.

10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a Dorot volunteer for around 6 years. It has truly changed my life. I have had the opportunity of visiting several senior citizens and getting to know them, making them my new friends. I am currently visiting a senior that has really become my family. He is alone and, although healthy, he is in great need of companionship. We spend special time together 2-4 hours a week in general, sometimes more. He has joined my family ( 2 boys and a husband) for many holidays and special dinners. He is our "grandpa". This experience has enriched all of our lives and my children have learned to understand this generation of people. It is beautiful to watch the different generations interact. I hope to continue volunteering for Dorot for years to come.