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Positive Aging Initiative (PAI)

"Aging is not lost youth but a new stage of opportunity and strength."  - Betty Friedan (1921-2006), American writer and activist


PSJC’s Positive Aging Initiative (PAI) seeks to change the perspective on aging from one of stigma and loss, to experiencing these years as a source of possibility, opportunity, and respect, through activities, support and community for members who are age 50 and beyond.


Activities include informational sessions (like “Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Medicare”), as well as ones that focus on health and fun (theater and book groups, language classes, walking club, etc.). We address issues of access for older adults at PSJC and participate in advocacy efforts on behalf of the rights of older adults nationwide. We offer programs for people of all ages and needs within the 50+ age range, those who are still working and those who are retired, as well as individuals who are caregivers – including those younger than age 50 – of older adults.

Who Can Participate

Although PAI activities are designed for PSJC members age 50+, members of all ages are welcome. Contingent on space availability, nonmembers who participate in PSJC in other ways (e.g., attend High Holiday Services) are also invited to attend and PSJC members may bring guests.

Contact Information 

Coordinators: Jan Orzeck and Marjorie Rothenberg
Board Liaison: Peter Holmes
Steering Committee: Ellen Briefel, Harolyn Cohen, Carol Diamond, Jane Dorlester, Leslie Fraidstern, Susana Honig, Grace Kerr, Yehudit Moch, Cathy Monblatt, Roberta Moskowitz, Elizabeth Schnur, Ann Smith, Itta Weiss
Contact Us: by email or phone 718-768-1453.

GET INVOLVED! If you would like to help us with our work in general, request or run an event or activity, recommend a resource, or need help with an issue related to aging, contact us! Our goal is to have fun as well as to help!

Upcoming Events

We have lots of ideas for activities and events that are percolating but are waiting for the results of our survey to find out what our members want the most. If you’ve already taken the survey and have further feedback, or if the deadline has passed for you to take the survey, you can still give us your input by contacting us at Please check the PSJC Calendar for already scheduled PAI activities and events.

Events and Activities

Registration: We need to know whether we have sufficient registrants to run an event or a class. For that reason, registration is required for all one-time events. For ongoing classes, registration is required for the first class only. Note that new classes will be canceled if pre-registration is not sufficient. If that happens, we will let you know in advance. Also, if you are registered we will know to contact you if the class is canceled for any other reason, such as an instructor being ill or inclement weather.
To register:

Go to the PSJC Calendar.
Go to the date of the activity.
Click on the name of the activity.
A box will pop up, that says “Go to Event”; click on that.
That will take you to a short registration form that you will need to complete.
If the class costs money, bring the fee to the actual event (see below).

Cost: To cover our costs, $5.00 per session is requested (cash or check) and exact change is appreciated. For some activities the cost may be higher given the cost of running the class. If you can’t afford the fee, pay what you can; no one will be turned away because of an inability to pay. Fees should be given to the leader or instructor at the class or activity.

Location: All activities are at Park Slope Jewish Center unless otherwise specified.

Ongoing Activities

Regularly Ongoing Activities
Positive Aging Book Club: This monthly book club reads books of various genres chosen by the group. The dates and times vary so that those who are retired and those who are still working can participate. Check the PSJC Calendar for the meeting times, selected books and registration!
Previous book read by the group have included: Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders; and Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan.
Cost: Free
Registration: Registration is required for all PAI activities. Follow the instructions above.
Positive Aging Walking Club: This club currently meets weekly on Friday mornings at 9:30 am at the Bartel Pritchard circle park entrance on 15th Street and PPW. We have been walking in Prospect Park and will explore other nearby venues. See the PSJC Calendar to register!
Cost: Free
Registration: Please register so we can reach you if there are any changes due to weather and other unanticipated events.


We are seeking recommendations for classes and instructors. Contact us if you have someone to recommend. We welcome your feedback on everything we do or should do.


We have identified the following resources as helpful to people age 50+ but we do not officially endorse any of these programs or agencies. Our Social Services Committee would, however, welcome your feedback on these and other resources you would recommend. To do so, contact

Health Insurance
HIICAP: The Department for the Aging runs the Health Insurance Information and Counseling Assistance Program (HIICAP) to help older adults with health insurance issues. They hold regular orientation sessions on Medicare at their headquarters and have volunteer counselors available to answer your personal questions.

Contact Info: 2 Lafayette Street, NY, NY [zipcode], [phone number], [email]


ENGAGE: UJA-Federation's Engage Jewish Service Corps empowers Jews in their 50s, 60s, and beyond to address the needs of the Jewish community of New York City. The program is based in Manhattan. Volunteers use their lifelong skill sets, expertise, passion, and leadership to address issues that they care deeply about, including poverty, hunger, joblessness, and the needs of isolated elderly and people with special needs. Volunteers choose opportunities that fit their interests and availability or create opportunities of their own. Participants also join together in regular community-building gatherings that include discussion, reflection, and analysis, which provide opportunities to learn about related societal issues and teachings and facilitate connections between the volunteering, learning, and overall life experiences.

Contact Info: Rabbi Brian Fink, Director of Engage, at 646.505.4408 or


There will be no PAI classes/events on the following 2018 holidays:
New Year’s Day: 1/1
Martin Luther King Day: 1/15
Tu B’Shevat: 1/31
President’s Day: 2/19
Purim: Erev 2/28, 3/1
Passover: Erev 3/30-3/31
Yom Hashoah: 4/12
Shavuot: Erev 5/19, 5/20
Memorial Day: 5/28
Fourth of July: 7/4

Tish’a B’Av: Erev 7/21, 7/22
Labor Day: 9/3
Rosh Hashanah: Erev 9/9, 9/10, 9/11
Yom Kippur: Erev 9/18, 9/19
Sukkot: Erev 9/23; 9/24-25
Shmini Atzeret: Erev 9/30; 10/1
Simchat Torah: Erev 10/1,10/2
Thanksgiving: 11/22, 11/23
Chanukah: Erev 12/2
New Year’s Eve: 12/31

Tue, January 28 2020 2 Shevat 5780