The URJ Biennial is Coming to San Diego! Beth Israel Members Head Up Local Planning
By Leah Singer The URJ Biennial is where Reform Jews gather to learn, pray, share ideas, dance and sing, hear from inspiring guest speakers, reunite with old friends, make new connections, and make decisions about the policies of the Reform Movement. This year the Biennial will be held San Diego! Between December 11-15 approximately 5,000 people will attend the Biennial and the Women of Reform Judaism Assembly, which will take place at the San Diego Convention Center. Biennial 2013 – the largest Jewish conference in North America – will also celebrate the Women of Reform Judaism’s
Centennial Anniversary. The 5-day conference will include a variety of learning sessions, forums, plenaries, Shabbat worship options, and opportunities to experience the historic San Diego Gaslamp Quarter nightlife. Beth Israel is at the helm of the local planning efforts with member Joanne Gimbel serving as the Local Arrangements Chair, which includes coordinating all local conference volunteers and serving as the liaison with the national URJ office. Members from Beth Israel will be needed to volunteer for Biennial 2013 to serve as ushers, greeters and in other roles. Volunteers will receive free admission to Biennial on the day in which they volunteer (meals not included). This is a wonderful opportunity for Beth Israel members to hear first-hand from the leaders in the Reform Judaism movement, and participate in an historic event that occurs only every other year, and rarely in San Diego. Past Biennial volunteers have described the conference as spiritually moving and an incredible experience. More information about attending and volunteering at Biennial 2013 is at http://urj.org/biennial13/.
JFS Older Adult Center at Beth Israel is All about Fun, Fitness and Friendship By Leanne Shawler | Photos by Seth Gold Jewish Family Service (JFS) University City Older Adult Center (UCOAC) is full of life. There is singing, dancing (even in a chair), socializing and playing games. For seniors, it’s about becoming a part of society again and enjoying what life brings in a safe community filled with respect and camaraderie. Every participant supports, loves, and helps each other. The easy activities stimulate and engage body, mind and spirit. The staff and volunteers at UCOAC love what they do and the people they care for. All adults 60+ are welcome...caregivers too! The Center is not a full service daycare center; if you or your loved one requires a caregiver to help you through the day, they will need to attend too. The good news is that UCOAC offers support for both you and your caregiver. The program includes creative social and physical interactions between caregivers and their clients; it also provides respite for loved ones. There is no charge 12 FALL 2013/5774
for a caregiver’s attendance. A Caregiver Support Group also meets monthly. Aviva Saad, Program Coordinator, glows when she speaks of her clients, using words like “alive”, “fun”, “recharged” and “renewed.” She loves to bring the best out in each of her seniors. “I love seniors and giving them the life they don’t have. They give me more than I give them.” Her wonderful staff and volunteers love being at Beth Israel. “It’s a gorgeous facility,” Aviva said, adding that often preschoolers and the girls from Torah High join in, giving an intergenerational feel to the day. UCOAC is a day program that operates at Beth Israel Tuesday through Thursday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., and is a great resource for Beth Israel members. There is a small fee of $21 per day, which includes a kosher lunch from the JFS food program. Financial assistance is also available. Many of the Center’s participants take advantage of the On the Go program (cost not included) which picks up in University City, Clairemont and La Jolla. For more information contact Aviva Saad at 858550-5998 or email@example.com.
Produced by Congregation Beth Israel of San Diego