The JCC recently completed its first 12-week Jewish-Focused Aging Mastery (J-AMP) class. J-AMP is the result of a partnership between the National Council on Aging (NCOA) and the Jewish Community Center Association of North America (JCCA).
J-AMP is designed to support adults in making the most of their gift of longevity. The program provides education, goal setting and daily practice for baby boomers, enabling them to make life changes to facilitate better aging. J-AMP includes expert speakers, group discussion and various levels of mastery aimed at improving the aging process.
The NCOA estimates that there are more than 2.4 million Jews older than 55 in the United States, which is approximately 44 percent of the entire adult Jewish population in the country. Older adults have greater life expectancy, but also have more years of projected good health ahead of them, according to projections from the U.S. Social Security Administration and the Centers for Disease Control.
The JCC of the Lehigh Valley was one of seven JCCs across the United States and Canada selected as a pioneer site for the new 12-week program. The pioneer group enjoyed the program very much. The 12 participants were able to attend most or all of the 12 sessions.
The graduating class celebrated at a luncheon on Feb. 15. Each participant received a gift, a certificate and a pin. Graduates of the pioneer class of 2016-17 include: Debbie Ovitz, Barbara Hoffman, Donna Black, Patty Glascom, Sheryl Block, Marjorie Weiss, Barbara Cohen, Eve Peterson, Joan Brody, Rony Ackerman, Linda Miller and Mike Miller.
The program focuses on Jewish perspective on aging, navigating longer lives, exercise, sleep, healthy eating and hydration, medication management, financial fitness, advanced planning, healthy relationships, prevention of falls, community engagement, and living fully for the remaining years.
J-AMP thanks its volunteer speakers, Rabbi Seth Phillips (Congregation Keneseth Israel), Debbie Zoller (executive director, Jewish Family Service of the Lehigh Valley), Denise Minkoff (CRT, sleep education coordinator, LVHN), Carrie Gerencher, (registered dietitian, Sodexo), Julie Knight (certified financial planner, Morgan Stanley), Dr. Jenni Levy (staff physician at Grand Rounds), Dr. Madeleine Langman (psychologist), Lauren Hunsicker (pharmacist, CVS Pharmacy), Miriam Serow (yoga instructor), Teri Krassen (occupational therapist), Jeanette Eichenwald (former Allentown City Councilwoman and Yachad instructor) and Amy Golding (head of school, Jewish Day School).
“The JCC is dedicated to supporting our entire adult community. I am very pleased how well the program ran,” said Amy Sams, coordinator of adult programs at the JCC. “The participants not only learned from our expert speakers, but were also very engaged with each other. The JCC is excited to continue to offer the program and improve the lives of Jewish baby boomers and older adults in the Lehigh Valley.”
Stay tuned for details about the next 12-week course which will be offered starting in September. The JCC will also be offering elective classes this spring and summer.
Contact Amy Sams, adult programs coordinator, at 610-435-3571 ext. 182 or firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more. For reflections about the program from participants, see page 6 of HAKOL.