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Older Adult Programming - Congregation Sherith Israel

Older Adult Programming: Programs for the second act of life


Facilitators: Lee Pollak & James Davis

Six sessions from 4 to 6 pm at Sherith Israel

Wednesdays, November 6, 13; December 11; January 8, 22; Feb 5

We hope to have a group of 10 to 16 people who are committed to these dates. It would be a salon - havarah format. We would discuss subjects related to the transitions in life during elderhood. At the initial session we would have a discussion about what each of us would like to gain from the sessions which will be potentiated by this quote:
"Our lives can be viewed as 2 broad chapters. The earlier chapter of our lives was spent building a family, social and professional relationships i.e. building a résumé. The present chapter is about reflecting on what we have worked so hard to achieve and using that wisdom to bring meaning and contentment to our lives." From David Brooks, The Second Mountain.

Once we have a group consensus we will have a series of discussions often facilitated by an expert in that area and readings pertinent to the issue
Possible Issues that will be discussed:
-In what way does our past define and inform us and facilitate a more meaningful next chapter in our lives
-What are we grateful for
-What are the challenges and opportunities of this stage of life.
-Ageism, how do we recognize it and what is its impact on our lives.
-How do we deal with suffering
-Strategies for growth and meaning in spite of diminishing capacity
-How does Judaism compare to other religious traditions in dealing with transitions.

Please contact us if you are interested
Lee Pollak
Jim Davis Email,


Congregation Sherith Israel is offering a Wise Aging program to provide new resources and support to live our later years with joy, spirit, resilience and wisdom in the face of diminishment and loss, the shifts in our social and support networks, the feelings of invisibility, the mixed signals of entering retirement, or the surprising turns in our relationships with ourselves, our partners, our family and our friends.

Wise Aging is currently being offered for thousands of baby boomers across the nation, and offers a sacred and supportive place for those 60 and older to gather together to share the challenges and opportunities of aging. Wise Aging incorporates “contemplative listening, journaling, mindful meditation, Jewish text study, and poetry”.

Topics will include:

Cultivating well-being and wholeness; forgiveness and reconciliation; living with loss; honoring and developing nourishing friendships; loneliness vs solitude; romance and sexuality; relationships with adult children and partners; body image; ageism; life review and creating a legacy.

The 6 session introductory program will meet at Sherith Israel on Thursdays, 2- 4pm: January 23 and January 30, February 13 and February 20, March 5 and 19. The sessions will be limited to 12 people. There is no charge for the class but participants are encouraged to obtain a copy of the book, Wise Aging, by Rabbi Rachel Cowan and Linda Thal.

Velia Frost, LCSW and Debbie Freed, former Family Life Educator at JFCS, will be the trained Wise Aging facilitators. For further information please contact Debbie Freed at or 415-317-3390.



Faciliator: Gale Gottleib

Ongoing, every other Thursday starting on September 5, 2019 at 1PM

This gathering of potential memoir writers is for everyone. We all have memories, ideas, advice, and even regrets. This is an opportunity to put them on paper and share with a confidential group in a safe setting. The purpose is not style or writing ability but rather the recording and sharing of memories that makes each of us unique.



The Chesed committee is considering a Chavurah focused on building a community of and for older adults. This group would meet regularly to discuss personal experiences and reflections and to offer mutual support. Details TBD.



Monthly, Fridays at noon.

Prime Time Club is a monthly gathering with lunch and interesting guest speakers for congregants and guests 65 (or getting there) and older. $10 lunch fee; presentation only, free. Second Friday of the month

Mon, December 6 2021 2 Tevet 5782