Editor’s Note: Pamela Baron is Director of Senior Services at Jewish Family & Children's Service of the Suncoast, Inc.
Jewish Family and Children’s Services of the Suncoast (JFCS) promised that the Aging Mastery Program® would be almost as good as chicken soup. After 12 sessions of learning, interacting, and socializing, the group participants agreed that it was!
Based on the National Council on Aging’s nationally successful ten session Aging Mastery Program (AMP), JFCS, with the help of The Patterson Foundation, piloted and offered a Jewish-focused AMP -- “JAMP” -- in Sarasota as part of an 8-site national pilot program. JAMP was developed to combine the science and art of aging well with the wisdom and traditions of the Jewish faith. In addition to the expert speakers who engaged the group in key AMP topic areas like exercise, advanced planning, healthy relationships, and community engagement, Rabbis Jennifer Singer and Brenner Glickman led the group in discussing Jewish ideas of faith and transition toward developing a spiritual mission statement for the next chapter of their lives.
Graduation was celebrated with a traditional Jewish holiday meal and a “Mazel Tov” to our participants, who were our real pioneers. Thanks to the generosity of The Patterson Foundation and the enthusiastic response and feedback from our initial group, JAMP will be offered again in January 2018.