JOIN JSA: LETS LIVE TO 120—THRIVING
It’s all Serge Haber’s fault. I was innocently shopping at London Drugs in Richmond when there was Serge – also just finished shopping. He knew all about me and my involvement in Jewish community work. He knew I had been the Assistant Executive Director of Canadian Jewish Congress for more than 10 years, he knew that I had been a leader at all levels of United Synagogue for Conservative Judaism, and he knew that I was newly retired after over 10 years as the Head of Judaics and Teaching at Richmond Jewish Day School. So – he asked innocently – what are you doing now? Our JSA secretary on the Executive has just left and we need you now! Like the old American military Uncle Sam posters – WE NEED YOU NOW!
Secretary, I thought – I have Multiple Sclerosis. My writing is illegible. Don’t worry –Serge says – we’ll get a tape recorder. You’ll transcribe the minutes onto the computer. (Serge has a solution for any problem.) Because Serge also seemed to know that the word ‘no’ is rarely used in my vocabulary, there I was catapulted onto the JSA Executive, cold turkey.
Serge is a wise man. He knew that within months of being involved with JSA, seeing the importance of the advocacy, information and education that JSA does, envisioning the future programs with so much to be done, that I would be hooked. And here I am, President.
Now many people ask me how I can take on such a huge job – but I also know a few very important facts. I know that Serge has promised – and I hold him to it, to never leave my side, to keep on doing all of the extraordinary things he does for JSA, fundraising, at which he is a master, being among them. Without our financial supporters JSA would not exist and I thank them all for sharing our vision.
I know that my first vice president Ken Levitt is a brilliant, diligent, caring mensch who goes above and beyond to accomplish great things, I know that the second VP Shanie Levin shares with me that Winnipeg work ethic and has a dedicated love for JSA; that Rita Roling whose vision spearheaded our Peer support program, a jewel in the Peer support crown for all of British Columbia, is a talented and visionary contributor to all that JSA does. I know that Milton Adelson works diligently to oversee the finances and watches expenditures like a hawk and I know that Gyda Chud our secretary and who, in a short time with JSA, has taken on chairmanships and committee participation, is an outstanding asset to our Executive committee. I know that our JSA Board and committee chairs are comprised of seniors with many years of expertise and experience under their belts. Later this evening we will be presenting the JSA OSCARS to Edith Shier, for her extraordinary and continuing work as editor of the Senior Line magazine and to Binny Goldman, a life member, for her amazing ability to make us all look so good in the pictures she takes and the articles she writes. They represent only a fraction of the quality of membership on the JSA Board and committees.
Looking forward, I know that this year we will have the best Fall Symposium ever – OCTOBER 26, the best Empowerment Series ever, the best Spring Forum ever. The Senior Line magazine gets better and better with every issue. Our JSA website is state of the art and our Peer Support Program is flourishing. I know that our Advocacy will get more involved with issues of concern for all seniors and that we will continue to grow our partnerships throughout the Jewish and the general communities. I know that our Peer Support professionals, Charles Liebovitz and Grace Hann are outstanding in the work they do and I know that our co-ordinator Karon Shear, with the able assistance of Rita Propp, are amazing and go above and beyond the call of duty in every instance.
So, my job is in fact the easiest of all. What a blessed president I will be.
IN THE BOOK OF MIRIAM, SARAH THE ANCIENT ONE SUGGESTS: GOD TELLS MOSES TO APPOINT 70 ELDERS TO ASSIST HIM IN HIS LEADERSHIP DUTY. THAT THEY SHOULD TURN TO “ELDERING” AS A SECOND CAREER. THEN, AS NOW, THERE IS MUCH TO LEARN FROM THE WISDOM OF AGE.
How fortunate we are to be living in the 21st century. The word is that 70 is the new 40. Today at 70, 80, 90 even 100 we are living rich, full lives. The Baby Boomer generation has begun to swell the numbers in the senior population. The Jewish Seniors Alliance is the one and only agency in our Jewish community whose focus is the continued well-being of seniors. It is the JSA who will advocate on your behalf to ensure excellent healthcare, excellent peer support and excellent just-having-fun care. THE TRULY SUCCESSFUL LIFE IS ONE WHICH GOES ON GROWING AND DEVELOPING TO THE VERY END.
SO I URGE YOU TO JOIN ME. JOIN US. BECOME A JSA SUPPORTER. BECOME INVOLVED WITH JSA. SHARE YOUR VISION WITH JSA. CONTRIBUTE BY BECOMING A MEMBER OF JSA (ONLY 18 TAX DEDUCTIBLE DOLLARS) AND SHARE OUR OUTSTANDING PROGRAMS WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS; FOR ALTHOUGH WE ARE A SENIORS ALLIANCE OUR PROGRAMS ARE OF INTEREST TO ALL AGES. Please notify the office if you are not receiving a copy of our Senior Line Magazine or access our website at www.jsalliance.org. for all information both before and after our programs.
So again I urge you, get involved. Let’s do this together. I thank all of you in advance for your support in every way.
As Rabbi Hillel so aptly put it
“If I am not for me, who will be?
If I am for myself alone, what am I?
And if not now, when?”