BERKELEY — A winter holiday party will be held at J-Sei Senior Center, located at Berkeley Methodist United Church, 1710 Carleton St., on Thursday, Dec. 13, at 11 a.m.

Attendees will do some free crafting — making holiday cards and gift tags for family and friends — enjoy a delicious lunch, and sing holiday favorites with entertainers and musicians.

Reservations are appreciated. Contact person: Vickie Kawakami, (510) 883-1106,

J-Sei Senior Center will be closed for Christmas and New Year’s holidays on Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 24-25, Monday to Thursday, Dec. 31-Jan. 3.

Upcoming events include a talk on medication management by Dr. Kay Yatabe on Monday, Jan. 14, at 12 p.m. and a New Year’s lunch on Tuesday, Jan. 22, at 12 p.m.

In other news, Laura Date, the first administrator of J-Sei Home in Hayward, left her position in early July. The new administrator is Mary Hart, who has over 20 years of administrative experience in rehabilitation, assisted living and skilled nursing facilities. She holds a master’s degree in gerontology and background in long-term care disaster management planning.

“Laura brought her care, compassion, and experience to help J-Sei Home in its start-up phase. The residents, staff, families, and volunteers thank Laura for her very hard work and contributions and wish her the very best for a fulfilling future,” the J-Sei board said in a statement.

The board also said that Hart “has been busily immersing herself into the home functions” and “has been impressed by the dedicated staff and the wonderful residents.”

J-Sei is rooted in Nikkei values and culture. In 1971, East Bay Japanese for Action began with outings and social events for the Issei. EBJA established bilingual case management services and a nutrition program serving Japanese lunches. Following a merger between EBJA and East Bay Issei Housing in 1986, the combined entity was named Japanese American Services of the East Bay. With its supporting partner organizations, JASEB was able to provide culturally sensitive housing options for seniors and a senior center offering classes and other activities.

With a new strategic plan and name change, J-Sei is a community care and cultural organization that brings families and generations together to nurture and pass on Nikkei values and traditions that remain at the core of its services. The expanded mission is guided by community values of dignity, trust, independence, social connection, open communication, and respect for elders. J-Sei’s commitment to serving seniors is unwavering, but it is broadening its impact by serving the multi-generational and multi-ethnic community.

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