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Aging Jewish Blogs

For ten years Rabbi Barbara Aiello served a Jewish senior community where she lived and worked on the campus. This combination afforded Rabbi Barbara meaningful insights that have shaped her unique perspective on Aging Jewishly.
A Dangerous Combination – Drug Abuse with Older Adults

A Dangerous Combination – Drug Abuse with Older Adults

It was touch and go but Sam survived open heart surgery. Although he had just turned 83, Sam was recovering well and his sons, Jake and Zack, were grateful and relieved. As they left the hospital Zack reminded Sam that they’d have to make a stop. “You only have enough...

When Divorced Parents Age

When Divorced Parents Age

“When the telephone rang at 2:00 am I knew it had to be bad news… and it was,” says Kyle who, along with his older sister, shares the responsibility for caring for their aging parents. “My sister was out of town so I raced to the hospital to be with Mom. She lives...

Restaurants Getting Louder

Restaurants Getting Louder

Is It Me Or Are Restaurants Getting Louder? “No I don’t want to go there. And not there either! How about we forget the restaurant and just eat at home!”  Elaine just looked at her husband and shook her head. “Lenny, what’s wrong. Eating out was something we...

Destination Celebration Tips

Destination Celebration Tips

A Wedding in Europe – A Bar Mitzvah in the Caribbean Tips for Seniors on the Destination Family Simcha “Well I never thought I’d see the day,” exclaimed Eva to her senior living buddy, Gladys. “When did this happen? When did you start using a cane.?”  “That’s...

Seniors Learning Hebrew

Seniors Learning Hebrew

Teaching Hebrew to Seniors – Materials, Methods and Positive Results Not long ago five women were called to the Torah, each as a Bat Mitzvah.  Not unusual except for the fact that the women on the bimah were all senior citizens, and, most significant of all, the...

Rededicate Your Home on Chanukah

Rededicate Your Home on Chanukah

Rededicate Your Home on Chanukah Polly said, “It’s early this year,” and Helen agreed.  Edith confessed that she just wasn’t ready, while George complained that his retirement community prohibited the use of lighted candles, “So how am I gonna make Chanukah this...

Blessing of Hospice 

Blessing of Hospice 

The Blessing of Hospice  "Hospice is suicide!"  That's what Dad said anytime the subject of death came up, which happened quite a lot in those last few years, especially since so many of his dear friends had died.  "I can't believe anyone would even...

Working Seniors

Working Seniors

“Should I Go Back to Work?” Sheila’s face said it all. In recent months Dina noted that her best friend rarely smiled and seemed out of sorts, sad and drained of enthusiasm.  Finally Dina broached the subject; “Sheila, what’s wrong. In all our years I’ve never...

Pets and Seniors

Pets and Seniors

The Impact of Pet Ownership for Seniors Their names are Scruffy, Ruffy, Midnight and Puddin’Pie. Then there’s Tuvia, Tova, Sheina and Butch.  These are the names of dogs and cats - pets whose owners I’ve come to know and love over the years that I served as a...

Aging Holocaust Survivors

Aging Holocaust Survivors

As Holocaust Survivors Age – What We All Need To Know Sergio Della Pergola, child of the Holocaust, was born in Trieste, Italy in 1942.  He survived to become the leading demographic authority in the study of the Jewish population worldwide. An international...

Married Priests

Married Priests

Could Married Priests and Women Priests Revive the Catholic Church? “I remember when I lived in Brooklyn, my best girlfriend was Catholic, says Helen C., now in her 90’s.  “When we walked to school we’d pass her church, St. Lucy’s. Sometimes we’d stop to say...

Aging Parents

Aging Parents

The Talmud’s Take on Aging Parents When I was about ten years old I knew enough Italian from my immigrant parents to understand the particulars of a heated argument.  That day my father, who was about 50 years old at the time, was having “words” with his father,...

Bullies in Senior Living Communities

Bullies in Senior Living Communities

What Happens When Bullies Grow Up and Move to Senior Living  “I haven’t seen you in the dining room for ages,” Selma said as she rushed to greet her neighbor, Betty who lived on the on the same floor in their senior living complex. Betty wrung her hands and said,...

Parents Outliving Children

Parents Outliving Children

When Parents Outlive Their Children – A New Dimension to the Tragedy What Our Traditions Teach Us about Growing Old When Bernie celebrated his ninety-seventh birthday he was surrounded by friends and family – all but one. Bernie’s daughter, Marsha was unable to make...

Sex and Seniors

Sex and Seniors

Sex and Seniors – The Jewish Perspective Daniel Reingold, president and CEO of River Spring Health, the organization that operates the Hebrew Home of Riverdale, NY, is credited with developing a policy that highlights an important aspect of senior living. In an...

Interfaith Grandkids

Interfaith Grandkids

Interfaith Grandkids and Crayola Crayons “Rabbi, I have to ask you something and it’s very personal,” said Ann as she wagged her finger in the typical “don’t tell,” motion.  At the time of her question Ann was a relative newcomer on the Aviva campus, (formerly the...

Political Sermons

Political Sermons

Political Sermons Can Destroy the Spirituality of the High Holy Days   “Everybody’s got something to say about politics – at the office, school, in the dry clean and at the grocery store. You can’t get away from it.  Except on Shabbat, hich I now make at home....

Ice Cream and Jews

Ice Cream and Jews

Ice Cream’s Jewish Connection It’s the season to enjoy summertime’s favorite treat – ice cream. It’s cool, it’s delicious and it’s Jewish! Thanks to an article by Joan Nathan (Tablet Magazine) we can start by introducing Reuben Mattus who began his career in the ice...

Widowed Parents Find Love

Widowed Parents Find Love

When Our Widowed Parents Find Love Again   Several years ago I opened the door to my rabbi’s study to find an elderly couple, both well into their eighties, hoping that I would meet with them. At first I thought something terrible had happened. The man hung his...

Elderly Isolation

Elderly Isolation

Elderly Isolation  It’s Bad for Mom But Worse for Dad “We’re so worried about Dad.”  That’s how Karen began her email to me.  “He’s so lonely and my brother and I don’t know what to do.”  Karen’s father, Sid, lived alone in the condo he once shared with his beloved...

Aging Jewishly

Aging Jewishly

The Talmud’s Take on Aging Parents Aging Jewishly – What Our Traditions Teach Us about Growing Old When I was about ten years old I knew enough Italian from my immigrant parents to understand the particulars of a heated argument.  That day my father, who was about 50...

Eldery Jews and Psychotherapy

Eldery Jews and Psychotherapy

“I’m Getting Help” Eldery Jews and Psychotherapy   “Hilda, you look fabulous,” Gemma remarked as Hilda, her oldest friend, made her way to the table in their favorite restaurant. “No kidding!” Polly agreed as she noticed the positive change in Hilda as well....

Spiritual Bucket List

Spiritual Bucket List

The Spiritual Bucket List Well I made it another New Year,” Saul said.  “But will we make it to the next one?” mused Ellie. Saul and Ellie sat at a table sipping coffee (decaf, of course!) thinking about the year that was and the year ahead. “Rosh HaShanah’s come and...

Yarmulke Game

Yarmulke Game

The Yarmulke Game Aging Jewishly – What Our Traditions Teach Us about Growing Old   “Jill and Josh – June 21, 1978”  “Chloe’s Bat Mitzvah 2007”  “Mazel Tov Sam and Zach 2016”  “ I just don’t know what to do with these,” said Charna as she lifted a handful of...

Testimonials

What They Say

“We cannot thank you enough for what an absolutely breathtaking, emotional, PERFECT ceremony. I resonate with every word that you said, and my entire family feels the same way. It was so wonderful to get to know you as well, You were truly amazing. I hope we cross paths again in the future! I will carry your words with me forever.

Bride n Groom, K & J – WEDDING MAY 2018

“It was such an amazing experience. We are so happy we decided to have Will’s Bar Mitzvah in your synagogue. The service was beautiful and it was an honour to see Will read from the ancient Torah. Lunch at the Old Chestnut Tree was incredible, we are still talking about the wonderful flavours. Both Hudson and Will are fortunate to have such a wonderful experience and form lasting memories of their Bar Mitzvah. 

Parents N.L. and J. D. –  BAR MITZVAH SUMMER 2019

We really want to thank you for your warmth, education, support and generosity. We loved every minute of our time in your neck of the woods. You and your community were so loving and embraced us and made our daughter’s bat mitzvah so special and an experience we will all treasure. We loved our tour of the town, our exceptional dinner celebration and the hotel staff couldn’t have been more accommodating. The trip up to your temple was beautiful and the service was absolutely perfect. We loved all the congregants that attended. Thank you again.”

R.S. and R.S. Bat Mitzvah parents – BAT MITZVAH SUMMER 2018

“Thank you so much once again for making our son’s Bar Mitzvah so wonderful, unique, warm and very special. You, your husband, your congregation and the whole town of Serrastretta were incredibly gracious and made our gang feel so at home and welcome. Really quite an unforgettable experience for all of us”

L and D. K. Bar Mitzvah parents – BAR MITZVAH SUMMER 2018

“We cannot thank you enough for what an absolutely breathtaking, emotional, PERFECT ceremony. I resonate with every word that you said, and my entire family feels the same way. It was so wonderful to get to know you as well, You were truly amazing. I hope we cross paths again in the future! I will carry your words with me forever.”

Bride n Groom, K & J –  WEDDING MAY 2018

“I can’t begin to tell you how impactful our time with you was for all of the participants … For most of the group their greatest highlight was learning from you and celebrating Shabbat together.  It was an honor to lead services with you.”

Tara A, Cantor and Tour leader – JEWISH TOUR SUMMER 2018

“I can’t begin to tell you how impactful our time with you was for all of the participants … For most of the group their greatest highlight was learning from you and celebrating Shabbat together.  It was an honor to lead services with you.”

Tara A, Cantor and Tour leader – JEWISH TOUR SUMMER 2018

“We had a lovely Bar Mitzvah. Exceeded our expectations. It was very special in so many ways. Thank you for making our Mitzvah one that we will never forget.

D. C. Parent – BAR MITZVAH 2018

“We want to thank you very much for making this day very special for us! Everything was awesome and we will take these memories with us forever. We very much appreciate you and your family being so accommodating and understanding​…Thank you again​.

A. S. and P.S. Bat Mitzvah parents – BAT MITZVAH SUMMER 2018

“Your tour in Lamezia Terme gave a different dimension to all your stories that were already ingrained in my memory: now I internalized them all….The Synagogue you built is a true milestone in Jewish history. You and Enrico have made Alex and I strive to be better people. Thank you so very much for an incredible day you gave us, for appearing in our lives and making us feel as part of your family. It was indeed a precious gift we will always cherish.

Irene and Alex, Cleveland, Ohio – JEWISH TOUR OF CALABRIA 2018

“Thank you so much for the wonderful Jewish surname research report! I feel so privileged and blessed that you have been able to conduct this research for me. This gives me a lot of first answers . Thank you!

N. D. Paris, France” – JEWISH SURNAME RESEARCH 2018

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