Positive Aging Initiative (PAI)
“Aging is an extraordinary process in which you become the person you always should have been.”
-David Bowie (1947-2016), British singer, songwriter, and actor
By offering activities and building community for members ages 50 and better,
PSJC’s Positive Aging Initiative (PAI)
is working to create a new appreciation of aging as a time of possibility and opportunity.
Who can participate?
PAI activities are designed for PSJC members who are age 50+ or who are caretakers of others in this age group. Activities are scheduled so that both retirees and those who are still working can participate. There is no cost to be a member of PAI, but a $5 donation is suggested per activity to cover our costs. No one will be turned away because of an inability to pay.
PAI activities are listed on the Events Page. PAI’s activities fall into four major categories to best meet the needs of the many older adults in our congregation and to build community:
Wellness Workshops: These information sessions held at the synagogue address issues common to many seniors. Examples of these workshops include:
Introduction to Medicare (annual)
Advance Directives (wills, health care proxies, powers of attorney, etc.)
Hearing Loss (including an on-site screening)
Benefits and Entitlements for Seniors
Preventing Consumer Fraud
Shared Wisdom Sessions: PAI is tapping into its tremendous resource of teachers, artists, and other professionals in our congregation to provide informal, small-group learning experiences in members’ homes. Click here for a listing of current Shared Wisdom Course Listings [Insert live link]. Examples have included:
Digital Photography, with Matthew Septimus
Jewish Child Soldiers During World War II, with Dr. David Rosen
Jews in New York Politics, with Dr. Daniel Soyer
Why the Middle Ages Matter, with Dr. Angela Weisl
Particle Physics, with Dr. Ellen Briefel
We have also collaborated on off-site workshops with other organizations, such as Tracing Your Roots, a genealogy research workshop at the Center for Jewish History.
Social Events: Despite PAI’s emphasis on aging positively, aging does have its challenges, and a having a community of others who share these challenges can provide much needed help and support. Many new relationships have formed through PAI events, and the possibilities are endless for meeting new people, learning new skills, and just having fun. Examples of social activities include:
PAI Book Club (monthly),
Dec. 25th Walk Across the Brooklyn Bridge & Dinner
Group walks in Prospect Park
PAI Dinner in the Sukkah
Social justice events, including PSJC’s annual MLK Day of Service
Advocacy: PAI addresses issues of access for older adults at PSJC and in the outside world. A major example was a Hearing Loss workshop with on-site hearing screenings. This well-attended workshop raised consciousness about how to address the issue of hearing loss with loved ones, from our own children to our aging parents.
PAI has also participated in UJA-Federation of New York focus groups on the needs of older adults in Brooklyn. In addition, PAI informs its members of resources outside of the synagogue that may be helpful to them, such as HIICAP, a Department for the Aging program that helps seniors with questions about health insurance; HIICAP does an annual workshop for PAI on Medicare.
How do I access activities?
Registration is required so that we can know how many people to expect and to contact you in the event of cancellation or change. To register for PAI activities, log into the PSJC website, and go to the event date on the PSJC Calendar. Click on the name of the activity. A box will pop up that says, “Go to Event”; click on that to access a short registration form, and complete the form. For more information on the PAI Book Club, contact us.
Co-Coordinators: Jan Orzeck and Marjorie Rothenberg. Email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call the PSJC Office: 718-768-1453.
Get Involved! If you would like to help us with our work in general, request an event or activity or run one yourself, recommend a resource, or need help with an issue related to aging, contact us.
PAI has identified the following resources as helpful to people age 50+. Please note that we do not officially endorse any of these programs or agencies. We welcome your feedback on these and other resources you would recommend.
Health Insurance: The Department for the Aging runs the Health Insurance Information Counseling and Assistance Program (HIICAP) to help older adults with Medicare and other health insurance issues. PAI holds an annual Introduction to Medicare session at PSJC, but you can also attend a longer version of this session at HIICAP headquarters, and/or get help with your personal situation from HIICAP’s counselors. Contact HIICAP by calling 311 or 212-602-4180.
Advance Directives (Will, Health Proxy, Living Will, Power of Attorney, etc.): Volunteers of Legal Service (VOLS)'s Elderly Project provides free legal counsel and assistance with the preparation of wills and other life planning documents to low income New Yorkers age 60 and over. To be eligible, your income must be $25,000 or less and your assets less than $50,000. For clinic dates and locations see www.volsprobono.org/elderly-project, or call them at 347-521-5704.