A Morning of Connection and Conversation

Darren & Dara Schwartz with Robyn Cohen

Tuesday, March 26th kicked off our spring Brunch Club, powered by Jewish Federation's Women's Philanthropy.
Hosted in the beautiful home of Olivia Okovita, community members enjoyed mingling, meeting like-minded Jewish women, a panel presentation on Healthy Aging, and a light kosher breakfast.

The discussion was lead by speakers: Dr. Dara Schwartz, licensed clinical psychologist at Sharp Mesa Vista; Robyn Cohen, Fitness Director and Sports, Fitness & Aquatics Director and Certified Personal Fitness Trainer at the JCC; and Rabbi Philip Graubart, Jewish Federation Board member, Chief Jewish Officer at the San Diego Jewish Academy, and director of the Academy’s Advanced Institute for Judaic Studies to each touch on their respective expertise on healthy aging through the mind, body and soul.
Each of our presenters gave us important components to understand about healthy aging:
•  Rabbi Graubart reminded us that elders should be seen as people with an abundance of wisdom, not as weak individuals.   Simply put, the older someone is, the wiser they are.He posed the question: "What are some ways that we can create more multi-generational events to ensure that we have opportunities for our community members of all ages to interact with one another?"

• Robyn Cohen confirmed the transformation that can happen when individuals take action and chose to live healthily.  She shared powerful stories of clients over 70 who have maintained their health, not only through physical exercise, but through the bonds and friendships they have made through the Jewish community at the JCC.

• Dr. Dara Schwartz identified a major contributor to unhealthy aging as seniors who face isolation and loneliness.  She also explained that healthy aging begins at a much younger age---in fact, we are learning how to grow old all the time. From our early experiences in life when we interacted with our grandparents and community elders, to later in life when we begin to help our loved ones who need more assistance.  
The Jewish Federation has taken incredible steps to help ensure that no Jewish senior will live in isolation. That is why this year, the Jewish Federation has fully funded a new pilot program to help connect seniors to much needed resources. 
This pilot program brings together Jewish Family Service, Temple Emanu-El, and Tifereth Israel to launch the first ever Jewish Community Resource Navigator program in the College Area and surrounding neighborhoods. 
This program will employ a dedicated social worker to complete home visits with Jewish seniors and to connect them to resources they vitally need.  Jewish Federation believes that by networking Jewish organizations in specific regions, we’ll be able to effectively and efficiently connect seniors to services which will enable them to lead the healthiest lives possible.
Do you know a senior who lives in the College Area/East County? Please contact our Chief Program Officer, Darren Schwartz, at 858-737-7157 or via email at darrens@jewishinsandiego.org to see if they would be a good fit for this new service.


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