Jewish Senior Living magazine   2014/2015


Finding and identifying Victor Mashbein’s room in the Jewish Home’s Friedman Pavilion is not difficult. There is a big American flag on the wall outside his door. Inside his room are other signs of his patriotism: a framed collage filled with a bronze star, two Purple Hearts, and photographs of Victor receiving one of them – taken just two years ago when the former paratrooper, who landed on the beach at Normandy on D-Day, was 87 years old.

Victor enlisted in the military at 17 and found himself in the famed 82nd Airborne Division. He was injured twice, but through a series of mishaps, was awarded only one Purple Heart. Life went on. He married, moved from St. Louis, Mo., to Iowa’s Council Bluffs, raised a family, and retired in Omaha, Neb. He did not think much about the missing Purple Heart until a few years ago when he was chatting about his World War II experiences with a chaplain at the local Veterans Administration. Thereupon began a search for written evidence, eventually found in the 1944 archives of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and culminating in April 2012, nearly 60 years later, in an award ceremony where Nebraska’s Senator Mike Johanns pinned the missing Purple Heart on Victor’s lapel.

“I became a celebrity,” Victor chuckles. He had numerous interviews and his photograph splashed on the news. “I also had a Purple Heart on my car’s license plate and I could park anywhere I wanted for free,” he adds.

“It was very emotional, very special, and long overdue,” says his daughter Robbin Mashbein, of San Francisco.

In June 2013, after falling and fracturing his hip, Victor moved to the Jewish Home to be near his daughter. It was a life-changing event, Robbin says. Up until then, Victor was living independently in a senior community in Omaha, still driving and socializing – quite “a man about town,” is the way she describes her father.

Jewish Home resident Victor Mashbein recalls the past with his WWII memorabilia and decorations.

Robbin was very familiar with the Home as her late mother-in-law, Sylvia Lipton, had lived there for several years. “She was so well taken care of throughout her advanced dementia that we really didn’t consider another place for my dad,” she recalls. “I literally made one phone call to the Jewish Home to get the process going.”

Victor’s daily routine features working out in the Home’s fitness center, attending current event discussions, and having physical therapy. In Omaha, he organized monthly movie nights for the people in his community, and he is now partnering with staff to do likewise at the Home, using films from his own collection. “I like to show musicals such as Hello, Dolly and Yankee Doodle Dandy because everyone can appreciate the music,” he explains.

Shabbat services with the Home’s Rabbi Sheldon Marder, whom Victor considers a friend, are important to both father and daughter. “I really appreciate the opportunity to share that with Dad,” Robbin maintains. “It’s a special time together. Afterwards, there’s a Shabbat sing-along on my father’s floor. That’s special too. ” Says Robbin with feeling: “Dad has made a pretty remarkable adjustment.”

Golf Tournament, Dinner and Auction
Support the Home. As a non-profit, the Home relies on the community to maintain its high levels of care and services.
Jewish Senior Living Magazine

Independent Charities of America (ICA) represents charities that meet the highest standards of public accountability and program effectiveness, and facilitates gifts to those charities from contributors. Independent Charities Seal of Excellence is awarded to the members of ICA and Local Independent Charities of America that have, upon rigorous independent review, been able to certify, document, and demonstrate on an annual basis that they meet the highest standards of public accountability, program effectiveness, and cost effectiveness.

GuideStar is one of the most prominent national organizations that offers current, comprehensive information about nonprofits. GuideStar Exchange connects nonprofits with current and potential supporters, and allows nonprofits to share a wealth of up-to-date information with GuideStar's on-line audience of grant makers and individual donors.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' agency that ensures effective, up-to-date healthcare coverage and promotes quality care for beneficiaries. Star ratings are achieved by CMS combining data from the most recent annual survey by the Department of Public Health, from nursing home staffing, and from quality measures.