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5th Annual Symposium on Positive AgingNovember 16, 2020 @ 10:00 am - 3:00 pm

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November 16, 2020 @ 10:00 am - 3:00 pm


November 16, 2020
10:00 am - 3:00 pm
Event Category:


Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan
(646) 505-4444

5th Annual Symposium on Positive Aging

The 5th Annual Symposium on Positive Aging will take place on Monday, Nov 16 from 10 am to 3 pm. The entirely-virtual symposium will feature a conversation between Paul Irving, Chairman, Milken Institute Center for the Future of Aging and Rabbi Laura Geller, author of Getting Good at Getting Older.

Attendees select one workshop from a variety of offerings; topics include food, dance, literature, mindfulness, memory, and loneliness. Small group or breakout sessions will create opportunities for conversations and connections, and a movement session will be incorporated into the day. Don’t miss this special event!

Cost: $18 through Oct 15, $25 after.



Resilience Through the Written Word

Sandee Brawarsky, Esther Amini, and David Adjmi
Contemporary authors bring us moving stories of resilience, hope, and optimism through the characters or tales they create and the experiences they relate. Sandee Brawarsky, long-time culture editor of The Jewish Week, will moderate a conversation between Esther Amini and David Adjmi, two authors who have written powerful memoirs. Esther’s memoir, Concealed, tells of a Jewish-Iranian daughter caught between the chador and America. David’s memoir, Lot Six, explores his growing up in a volatile Syrian-Jewish household in Brooklyn, suppressing his homosexuality, and his eventual reinvention of himself as a theater artist. The workshop will include readings, conversation,  and an opportunity for questions.  Both books are available in independent bookstores and online.

Celebrate Resilience, Vitality, and Joy: A Dance Workshop

Naomi Goldberg Haas and members of the Dances for a Variable Workshop
Join us for an hour of creative exploration using our bodies to express the strength, beauty, and wisdom of older age as we create joy in movement. This message is of particular importance in these  times. In this MOVEMENT SPEAKS ®  workshop we will use creative movement in the spirit of collaboration and connection, creating dances based on these themes.

Building Connections Through the Arts

Dvorah Telushkin
Explore how music, poetry, and visual arts bring people together. Participants will be supported to express themselves creatively and to reach out to others. Dvorah Telushkin is the author of Master of  Dreams, a memoir of her 14 years as a Yiddish translator and editor for author Isaac Bashevis Singer. Dvorah is now chaplain at The New Jewish Home in Manhattan.

Preserving Family Recipes for the Next Generation

Jennifer Abadi
Set out your own Middle Eastern mezze platter, pull up a chair, and join cooking instructor and cookbook author Jennifer Abadi for a demonstration and discussion on preserving Sephardic and Judeo-Arabic recipes and food traditions. Jennifer will showcase a family recipe and share stories of cooking with her Syrian grandmother, Fritzie. Afterward, she will describe her process of researching, developing, and writing a working recipe that she can preserve by teaching it to others.

Mindful Path to Hope and Healing

Sheila and Sheldon Lewis
This experiential workshop offers meditation practices, spiritual wisdom, practical tools, and creative techniques for cultivating resilience as we grow older. We will draw on ancient spiritual traditions and modern neuroscience to imbue our daily lives with deeper meaning and purpose. Sheila and Sheldon, who began studying meditation in the 1970s, will share wisdom and practices from many traditions. As teachers of meditation and spirituality, they aim to inspire others to initiate and deepen their spiritual practice and uplift their lives.

Alone But Not Lonely

Faye Wilbur
The coronavirus pandemic has forced people to be alone more than most would have chosen. Some people feel alone when they are by themselves; others feel lonely even while physically with others. The goal of this workshop is for each participant to gain greater insight into loneliness by exploring unique and creative ways to tap into existing strengths, grow and nurture new strengths, and meet the challenges of loneliness head-on. In addition to the learning, participants will have the opportunity to communicate with others via online chat.

Take Command of Your Brain’s Control Center

Amanda Sacks-Zimmerman, Ph.D. + Jessica Spat-Lemus, Ph.D.
While our brains are responsible for many cognitive functions, the most important domain to our everyday life is executive functioning. Executive functions are a set of cognitive processes that control goal-directed behavior, such as our ability to organize our approach to tasks, create mental maps for getting things done in the right order, self-monitor our task performance, problem-solve complex issues, and regulate our emotions. When these abilities are working well, life goes smoothly, but a glitch in an executive function can contribute to feeling overwhelmed. In this workshop, we will learn and engage with strategies that increase awareness of these executive functions and provide the ability to maintain more control over them.