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Ethics and Health Converge at Dinner Table

SOs Carole Goldberg and Phil Cohen met at Somerby.

Senior Romance Gets A Boost at Somerby

MAY 4 ▪ 2018

Love is in bloom at one of Atlanta’s newest senior living facilities. Experienced community liaison Jodi Firestone wanted the residents of Somerby to spice things up a bit, so she sponsored a speed-dating event in the Sandy Springs location. “We recognize that socialization is so important among seniors. We actually invited folks from outside Somerby to participate too. We promoted through social media, which meant that the adult children of seniors provided the connection,” Firestone said. “Basically, we set up 10 men and 10 women (all 70 years old and up), who got four face-to-face minutes each before having to move to the next round. That event resulted in two matches.” Sometimes romance is spontaneous. Phil Cohen from Skokie, Ill., who produced a show called “Artist 2 Artist,” spotted stylish Atlanta native Carole Goldberg coming off the elevator. Each had been at Somerby only a few days. Carole, who was in the first graduating class of the Westminster Schools, said, “We liked each other immediately and are comfortable together.” They both enjoy theater and music. Phil, who was a trombone player, uses Uber so the couple can head out to dinner and other outside activities. Carole said Le Petite Maison, Brooklyn Cafe and Goldberg’s are her favs. Phil joked, “Carole’s real favorite is going to the hairdresser.” Other times Somerby provides a 28 bus for group activities.

“We keep super busy here. Today we have an expert lecturer on humor,” Phil said. Carole added: “We also do exercise classes, yoga, graceful aging seminars and tai chi. We do it together.”

Jaffe’s Jewish Jive By Marcia Caller Jaffe

A little more in-depth probing: • Do you have any plans to make your romance official? “Nope, we’re content just being SOs,” or significant others, Carole said. • What advice would you offer to seniors about dating in the later years? Carole: “When you get older, your priorities change. I’m simply enjoying today.” Phil: “You can’t meet anyone while sitting home alone. Break the glass; start talking!” You mean “break the ice”? “No,” Carole said, “he is specific about that expression.” Firestone wants the Jewish residents (approximately 45 percent) to feel at home at Somerby. On most Fridays, a rabbinical team comes to conduct Shabbat services. Phil and Carole make it a point to go with about 20 others. “We go out of our way to welcome new people and make everyone feel included, but folks know that we are indeed a couple,” Carole said. Love “is as perennial as the grass,” as Max Ehrmann wrote in “Desiderata.” ■

standard American diet When I moved to (SAD) is in so many ways Atlanta from Canada in an exemplar of eating 2010, first lady Mibadly and suffering the chelle Obama had just subsequent ill health. launched the Let’s Move! Talmudic and medicampaign to promote eval scholars promoted healthier food, better a simple eating strategy labeling and more physithat was holy, healthy cal activity, especially and individually achievamong children. able. I found sources in I was surprised by Eating Ethically Islam and Christianity how little was being said By Rabbi Jonathan K. Crane endorsing the same eatabout food-related issues Columbia University Press ing strategy. and obesity in particular 264 pages, $35 When I consulted in my academic field cutting-edge studies on of religious ethics. I was taken aback metabolism, appetite and nutrition, I when congregational colleagues was surprised that contemporary sciwarned me not to address these topics, ence corroborates this ancient eating lest I unwittingly shame some people. strategy. Philosophy and ethics also As I felt it reasonable that support this strategy. religious leaders should address topics vital to human health, how could I, a rabbi and scholar of Jewish ethWriting on Writing ics, address this subject? By Rabbi Jonathan K. Crane I found talking about body size and shape to be distracting and unhelpful. And I thought that Jewish “Eating Ethically: Religion and views on exercise were meager. Science for a Better Diet” tells this What about food? Judaism is story by integrating these sources with famous for its many rules and regulaart, literature, neuroscience, evolutiontions about what foods to eat and what ary biology and other disciplines. not to, about how to prepare foods and The book first clarifies what eatwhen to serve them. These laws and ing badly is. The second section sepapractices make up kashrut. rates out three interlocking elements: But they hardly answer questions the eater, the eaten and eating itself. presumed by those rules: Why are we Part 3 unpacks the ancient yet uneaters in the first place? What is eatnervingly scientifically supported eating? What is the nature of the eaten? ing strategy. The fourth section looks I dug into the Jewish textual tradiat those three tasty yet dangerous tion and found an incredible array of macronutrients: salt, sugar and fat. sources wrestling with these questions. What I find amazing in this projThe very beginning of the Torah, ect is its simplicity. It empowers each with its two creation stories, situates person to reclaim the fact that each eating as critical for human flourishis an eater. We are each eaters of and ing. The second creation story tells in this world; the better we appreciate us that eating badly — beyond what this fact, the better off we individually is divinely prescribed — leads to dire and collectively can be. ■ consequences. How prescient! Today’s Rabbi Jonathan K. Crane serves as the Raymond F. Schinazi scholar in bioethics and Jewish thought at Emory University’s Center for Ethics, an associate professor of medicine in the School of Medicine, and an associate professor in the religion department. In addition to “Eating Ethically: Religion and Science for a Better Diet,” the books he has written or edited include “Beastly Morality: Animals as Ethical Agents,” “Narratives and Jewish Bioethics,” “The Oxford Handbook of Jewish Ethics and Morality,” and the forthcoming “Approaches to Race and Jewish Ethics.” Rabbi Crane frequently speaks and teaches about food-related topics, Jewish bioethics and ethics generally to professional associations, academic societies and religious communities around the world. He lives in Decatur with his wife, Public Service Commission candidate Lindy Miller, and their three sons.

Profile for Atlanta Jewish Times

Atlanta Jewish Times, Vol. XCIII No. 18, May 4, 2018  

Atlanta Jewish Times, Vol. XCIII No. 18, May 4, 2018