Posted: February 23rd, 2011 | Author: Jerry Weider | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »
Rabbi Richard Address, one of our JBoomers Board members recently wrote the following article for Jewish Sacred Aging. I think you will find it interesting. Jerry Weider
If you’re happy and you know it
Rabbi Richard F. Address, D. Min.
A recent article in the Los Angeles Times (Jan. 31, 2011: E-3) was concerned with the elusive quality of happiness.
We are at the age when this concept may be up for serious re-evaluation. Dr Valerie Ulene, the author of the article, noted studies that proclaimed “once basic needs are met, additional wealth doesn’t add much to people’s sense of well-being or contentment.” This is good news for many who often equate happiness with more money. Yet, many of us, like Ulene’s statement, are coming to understand that, while there may be nothing wrong with having more money, it does not buy happiness. Talk to those people you know who are truly happy and, more often than not, they will say that the basis for their happiness lies more in relationships and connection than economics.
Another spin on this was also part of this LA Times piece. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, co-director of Claremont Graduate University’s Quality of Life Research Center, notes that: “Health means not just the absence of disease but a positive sense of involvement and engagement in life. Unless you know how to enjoy life, your life is not really healthy.”
Much of this positive attitude approach to living is based on work by Dr. Martin Seligman at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Seligman directs the Positive Psychology Center at Penn and has been the pioneer in this positive thinking approach to life. He sees happiness as a result of Pleasures (things that we like to do, that make us feel good yet are often transitory in nature) and Gratification, which are activities that engage us in life and that may transcend time and place.
Judaism has, as you might expect, a spin on this as well. It is one that has particular relevance for us as we age. Maimonides cautions us to seek to live a life of balance, a “golden mean”. It is a life that sees involvement with all phases of human existence, from the intellectual to the sensual; all have a place. The challenge in finding our own sense of happiness, is to find the balance of all of life’s menu that make sense for us. That is why I place so much importance in the power of relationships, for it is in them that we often find the keys to living a balanced life.
Relationships help give us definition and direction and allow for a full experience of life; and yet, provide a safety net for when we start to drift outside of our own comfort zone. They also provide the means through which we can achieve a real sense of gratification for life. The prayer book, I suggest, reflects this view of experiencing life’s totality in the section called “the miracles of every day life” (nisim b’chol yom). This section gives thanks for the wide varieties of experiences that we encounter daily; it is a litany of blessings that remind us that we are blessed to be alive and that happiness comes from our acknowledging this blessing.
These are the miracles that no amount of money can buy, for they are the miracles of daily life; for which we derive meaning and happiness with each breath.
Rabbi Richard F. Address, D.Min
Posted: February 20th, 2011 | Author: Jerry Weider | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »
Pre-Passover Kosher Culinary Cooking Event
Tired of the same old boring dishes for Pesach? So are we. There’s so much you can do to have an exciting Seder menu without much additional effort, or having to hunt down special kosher for Passover ingredients. Chef Avram Wiseman will show you how easy it is to make fantastic Pesach dishes that look good and taste good!
He should know–he works as a gourmet chef for Pesach every year.
This will be an up close and personal event and you will be able to ask any and all questions about all preparation steps that the chef uses in creating these tasty dishes. You will not have to bring anything special with you. Pictures are welcome and every participant will receive a recipe packet and a complimentary CKCA spatula.
Date: Sunday April 10th
Time: 1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Place: The Center for Kosher Culinary Arts 1407 Coney Island Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11230
Cost: $36 per person + donation to Mazon (you decide the level of donation)
Please Note: This very special event is limited to 20 people! First come, first served.
What to do to reserve a spot at this event? Email Jerry Weider (JBoomersmail@yahoo.com ) to reserve a spot and then send a check made out to Jerry Weider for $36 per person. Mail the check to him at 518 Third St. Brooklyn, N.Y. 11215
Questions: Call Jerry Weider at 347-489-4011Please note: This is not a tax deductible event.
Posted: February 2nd, 2011 | Author: Jerry Weider | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »
The following article was writen by Paula Jacobs. She is based in the Boston area. The article appeared in this The Jewish Week Feb. 2, 2011 edition. Enjoy! Jerry Weider
Do’s and Don’t in Appealing to Boomers
Special To The Jewish Week
By now it’s old news: Baby boomers are redefining aging, Jewish boomers are disengaging from community life, and the Jewish community is not well-prepared.
The salient question: Is the Jewish community ready to define our future by creating a just society that reflects Jewish values and respects the aging boomer population? Or will we simply allow the December 2010 Pew Research report, “Boomers Approach Age 65 Glumly,” to become a self-fulfilling prophecy?
Despite sporadic programming initiatives in response to NYU Professor David Elcott’s 2010 report, “Baby Boomers, Public Service, and Minority Communities,” the Jewish community has largely ignored the needs of boomers — estimated at approximately 25 percent of the American Jewish population. Meanwhile, allocations for outreach to young families and the unaffiliated have increased substantially across the U.S. While it’s indisputable that the community must invest in the next generation, addressing boomer needs should not be an either/or proposition.
In the wake of the Elcott findings presented at the General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America this past November, it only stands to reason that the Jewish community will make boomers a higher priority during the coming year.
As a baby boomer, here’s my 2011 wish list to the organized Jewish community.
Don’t rely on strategic planning commissions. There’s no time for heel dragging or dilly-dallying with planning committees when it comes to 65-year-old boomers. Save this approach for the youngest boomers who will not reach age 65 until 2029. Craft compelling programs and volunteer opportunities to attract retiring boomers now.
Don’t jump to conclusions. When we disengage from community life or quit our synagogues, don’t assume that we’re simply not interested or have financial constraints. Delve deeper to understand what motivates boomers or run the risk of losing us forever.
Don’t stereotype. Retired, empty-nester boomers have vastly different needs from those who are still working and have children at home. Target and segment boomer audiences with appropriate marketing strategies. A “one-size-fits-all approach” never works, e.g. Israel-related programming does not necessarily appeal to all boomers. Based on identified audience needs, offer the right mix of education, social justice, spirituality, social, and meaningful volunteer activities.
Don’t relay the aging message. Boomers pride themselves on their active lifestyles and do not consider themselves “old,” even though middle age can be stressful. When JCCs and synagogues advertise programs such as “healthy aging,” or “tips for growing old gracefully,” boomers may automatically tune out such messaging. Forty years ago, my 60-year-old grandmother belonged to a synagogue “Golden Age Club.” No self-respecting boomer wants to be associated with an elderly group, by whatever euphemism it is called.
On the other hand, it is the boomer generation that created new Jewish rituals. Help boomers connect to community through rituals and ceremonies that mark lifecycle occasions such as milestone birthdays or the conclusion of a mourning period.
Don’t segregate us. With decades of volunteer and professional experience behind us, boomers can serve as valuable mentors to young people. The two generations also have much to offer each other as I learned several years ago when I worked side by side on an archaeological dig with college-age volunteers.
Do listen. Boomers are highly educated, are committed to professional success, and want to be taken seriously. A customer-centric approach is a critical success factor. By carefully listening to an empty-nester audience, I was able to create a highly successful adult education program that exactly fit its needs.
Do foster two-way communication. The key is to develop interactive relationships with your boomer audience. Create opportunities for open communications and exchange of ideas. Incorporate various methods of communication such as one-on-one meetings, focus groups, blogs, and social networking. View negative feedback as constructive criticism and a way to effect positive change.
Do follow up. Avoid making promises you cannot keep. A customer-centric approach must deliver true value. Don’t ask boomers how your organization can serve their needs or what types of volunteer opportunities to provide unless you are truly committed to meeting these needs. Otherwise, risk alienating boomers for good, losing valuable resources and a potential donor base.
Do engage. Boomers seek to derive spiritual meaning from their lives and contribute positively to society. Tap into this energy, creativity, and passion by providing appropriate volunteer assignments. The year-to-year retention rate for baby boomer volunteers who perform more challenging assignments, such as professional or management activities is the highest, according to the Corporation for National and Community Service research report, “Keeping Baby Boomers Volunteering.”
Boomers want to make their mark on the world in their own way. Jewish boomers fought for civil rights, led the feminist movement, stood at the forefront of Vietnam War protests, and created new forms of spiritual expression.
Organizations must understand this mindset and work collaboratively with baby boomers so they feel empowered. Otherwise, Jewish boomers will volunteer and seek meaning outside of the Jewish community. For instance, the Elcott report found that only 37 percent of survey respondents preferred to work for the Jewish community.
Do innovate. Reimagine and reinvent your outreach approach. One model: JBoomers, launched this fall by Rabbi Gerald Weider, connects Jewish boomers nationwide via social networking, with a variety of activities [Jewish Week, Oct. 8, 2010].
Engaging Jewish baby boomers and renewing their commitment to Jewish life requires a shift in communal priorities and conventional approaches. It’s a once-in-a-life-time opportunity for the Jewish community to exercise creativity, effect change, and teach Jewish values by example to future generations.
Paula Jacobs is a Massachusetts-based writer, teacher and consultant.
Posted: February 1st, 2011 | Author: Jerry Weider | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »
On Sunday February 13th JBoomers will gather at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in lower Manhattan for a guided tour of their exhibits: “Mah-Jongg” and “Fire in My Heart:The Story of Hannah Senesh”. After viewing the exhibits we will have lunch and then a discussion about how JBoomers can engage Jewish Baby Boomers .
The Details: Date: February 13, 2011
Time:12 noon – 3 pm at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, lower Manhattan.
Cost: $28 includes private guided tour of the two exhibits and a box lunch. This event is not tax deductible.
Please register for the event by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Pre-Passover Cooking Demonstration & Exhibition
On April 10th, at 1 pm, JBoomers are invited to gather at the Center for Kosher Culinary Arts in Brooklyn for a very special “hands on” cooking class taught by the most talented kosher chefs in New York. Each participant will receive a recipe packet and a complimentary CKCA spatula.
Cost: $36 per person + a donation to either Mazon or the JDC (at whatever level you choose).
This will be a very special event…..limited to 20 people. More details to follow.
Watch for an Evite to both of these events with instructions on how to register and pay for the events.