October 14, 2020

The Cummings Centre – serving the community and adapting to change during the current Pandemic

Important update for the recipients of the Claims Conference Article 2 Fund pension who are now receiving their annual Life Certificates. During the Covid-19 pandemic those certificates do not need to be certified, but could simply be signed by pension recipient and sent back to the Claims Conference office by mail, email or fax.

For questions contact Igor Epshtein: 514.734.1746 or [email protected]

Dear Cummings Centre members, volunteers, participants, clients, donors and staff,

As the situation surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to evolve, the Cummings Centre, a non-profit, multicultural community centre serving Montreal’s 50+ population, has mobilized in order to continue to serve the community with essential services and virtual learning programs. The below outlines our ongoing accomplishments during the pandemic:

  1. Over 2,905 gift cards have been delivered to Cummings Centre clients (Passover gift cards and vouchers for groceries and medications)
  2. 9,503 Kosher Meals-On-Wheels as well as soups (865) and cakes (430) have been packed and delivered to clients in the community by dedicated Cummings staff and volunteers.
  3. The new Cummings ‘Seniors Shopping Program’ has helped vulnerable clients who have no family in Montreal and are homebound gain ongoing access to nutritional and fresh foods. Over 170 orders have been filled.
  4. The Day Services teams at both the CSL Drop In and Cummings Day Program continue to provide support to their clients, individuals living with dementia, and their caregivers:
    • Care calls are made regularly to 130 families of Day Services, providing guidance, support and referrals
    • Therapeutic home stimulation kits designed for people living with dementia are provided regularly to 130 families via email or mail (Activity Kits include exercise, cognitive games, puzzles and art)
    • Our professional staff are providing 11 virtual support groups via Zoom per week to families in order to maintain cognitive and ongoing socialization providing respite to caregivers (Professional staff include recreational therapists, a social worker, a music therapist, etc. Yoga and Tai Chi instructors)
  5. ‘Care calls’ breaking social isolation: 6,000 to date. Cummings Volunteer and Program Department teams have reached out to volunteers, members and participants by phone, email and zoom; providing resources, telephone assistance, set-up of access to our Virtual Learning Program and most importantly, ongoing communication.
  6. The Community Helpline has received over 3,737 calls from the community
    • Over 80% of total responses were either seniors themselves or someone seeking help on behalf of a senior related to basic needs such as food and psycho-social support
    • Our intake department has seen an increase of new cases, which will be followed closely by Cummings case managers.
  7. Newly expanded online programming:
    • Cummings transitioned over 60 classes and events to a free online Zoom format generating over 1,604 users with new weekly introductions
    • Our Free- Access Virtual Learning Library sponsored by the Leonard Albert Family Foundation has grown to house over 248 videos with weekly additions and 2,200 registered users. https://cummingscentre.org/virtual-learning/
  8. The Cummings Jewish Centre for Seniors Foundation continues to reach out to its donors to support the community’s most vulnerable seniors during the Covid-19 pandemic. The Foundation is tremendously grateful to those who have already generously donated.

Continuing services

  1. 1,000 Holocaust Survivors living in Quebec are provided with homecare and financial assistance through funding from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany. Re: Life Certificates for Holocaust Survivors
    • For inquiries reach out to Igor Epshtein call 514-734-1746.
    • Deadline dates for verifying life certificates have been extended due to Covid-19.
  2.  The Social Services Department’s Case Management and Community Mental Health staff continue to work remotely with their clients offering psychosocial support and direct service.
  3. A new Intergenerational program with Herzliah High School was developed as a way for student volunteers to provide isolated seniors with much needed telephone interaction and conversation.
  4. French virtual activities, the Communauté Sépharade Unifiée du Québec, in partnership with Cummings, have offered to share a series of conferences, French music and Israeli films on the Cummings Virtual Library.
  5. A curated Online programming page of free online resources is also available featuring ‘Cummings Staff’ picks.

Community Helpline

The Social Services Teams of Cummings Centre and Ometz have been working together with Federation CJA on the front lines of the newly established Community Helpline delivering emergency response, generating increased demand for social services on our Intake team.

    • Cummings Centre Social Services clients are encouraged to contact their Case Manager directly by phone on their direct line or email ([email protected]).
    • Those individuals needing assistance who are not known to any of the above Cummings Centre Social Services are encouraged to contact the community Helpline 514-734-1411 (Mon. – Thurs. 8:30 am – 4:30 pm, Fri 8:30- 3pm) or email [email protected]

Additional information about the Centre

  • As of March 16th, the Cummings Centre has postponed all events, programs and Spring Registration for the Main campus (Westbury) and all off-site locations.
  • Access to the Cummings Centre, 5700 Westbury is closed, staff are working remotely.
  • All non-essential in-person meetings are cancelled; remote access meetings are encouraged wherever possible
  • All volunteer activities are suspended until further notice
  • Café Shalom Cafeteria and la Boutique are closed until further notice
  • For more information and ongoing updates visit cummingscentre.org. For media inquiries, click here


If you or someone you have come into contact with are exhibiting the below symptoms and are unsure as to whether you have these symptoms, call Toll Free 1-514-644-4545 for professional advice.

  • Fever
  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath

The Cummings Staff are here to answer your questions and assist wherever possible.

On behalf of the entire organization, thank you. We deeply appreciate your cooperation and support. We will be re-evaluating the above protocols on an ongoing basis as the situation continues to be fluid and changing. Please visit our ongoing list of resources.

Thank you for your understanding,

Pauline Grunberg,
Executive Director, M.Ed.

May 7, 2020

The Cummings Centre – Update from the President and Executive Director

March 27, 2020

A message from Canada’s Minister of Seniors – Deb Schulte

As Minister of Seniors, I wanted to connect with you regarding COVID -19. We know seniors are worried about their health and the health of loved ones. This situation is unprecedented and changing rapidly. And it poses an increased risk for seniors.

I want to assure you that the Government of Canada, provinces, territories and local governments are all working together to protect seniors. We will get through this together.

That starts with giving seniors the tools to take action. To learn more, click here

The 2-1-1 line is a multilingual service (200 languages) set up to combat isolation, poverty and social exclusion by enabling citizens to learn about and find community and social services, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., 7 days a week. Following the announcement of the latest government directives, if you are a Montrealer in need, we invite you to call 2-1-1 directly by telephone or access it online at the following address: https://www.211qc.ca/