Jewish Employees Help Other Workers Get Holiday Off At Tulsa Business

Thursday, December 23rd 2010, 7:50 pm
By: News On 6

Rick Wells, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- Getting off work on Christmas Day isn't always a guarantee for Christians who work at a 24/7 business. But at the Jewish Retirement Center, many non-Jewish employees get the gift of "Christmas off" thanks to their Jewish co-workers.

Norm Levin is a receptionist and Jack-of-all-trades at the Jewish Retirement and Healthcare Center.

One of the presents the Christian employees of the center would like is Christmas off. For them Norm Levin and the other Jewish employees here are like - uh - Santa Claus.

Sheri Springer has worked here 14 years, and although this is a 24 hour a day facility, she always gets Christmas off.

"They step up and take over for us while we get to celebrate with our families," said Sheri Springer.

The Christian employees step in for the Jewish employees when Jewish holidays come around.

"It's a great place to work," Springer said. "It's a great family."

It's a very happy dynamic here. The 200 residents are about evenly split Jewish and non-Jewish, and the staff of 170 employees is split as well.

This ecumenical atmosphere extends to the dining room.

"Because it is Christmas Eve, we decided to do something special for our non-Jewish population," said Susan Surchev.

Prime rib steaks and all the trimmings - including a special dessert - and the non-Jewish kitchen and dining room employees get the night off too. 

"Just an interfaith dining room, and we respect one another," Surchev said.

"I'll be home for Christmas if only in my dreams - not bad for a nice Jewish boy," laughed Norm Levin.