The Palm Beach Jewish Boomer Platform is pleased to share news with you today about five new programs in Palm Beach County designed to appeal to Baby Boomers. All five programs are receiving grants from the Platform. (See details below.)

The Palm Beach Jewish Boomer Platform--including this grant program--was made possible by a grant from the Innovation Fund of the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County.


Stuart Himmelfarb
Palm Beach Jewish Boomer Platform
201 657 6641

December 6, 2016

Palm Beach Jewish Boomer Platform Announces Five Local Grants

To Support Innovative Baby Boomer Programs 

The Boomer Landscape in Palm Beach County is the scene of five new programs designed to interest and involve local Baby Boomers.

The Palm Beach Jewish Boomer Platform (“The Platform”) invited a variety of communal organizations, agencies and synagogues in Palm Beach County to propose program ideas—and awarded grants to five proposals: 

The Palm Beach Jewish Boomer Platform—including this grants process—was made possible through an Innovation Grant from the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County. This entire initiative reflects the federation’s investment in and commitment to developing new ways to engage Baby Boomers in the Palm Beach county community in Jewish life.

The five approved programs address a variety of topics of interest to Boomers and can help achieve one of the Platform’s goals of engaging—or re-engaging—Baby Boomers in Jewish life in Palm Beach County. 

1. The Palm Beach “Wise Aging” Seminar—Consortium of Synagogues and Agencies; Project Leaders—Rabbi Yaron Kapitulnik, Morli Josza

This proposal was submitted by a collaborative team of 12 synagogues and two local Jewish agencies initiated by Rabbi Yaron Kapitulnik of Temple Judea in Palm Beach Gardens.

The goal of the Wise Aging program is to train clergy and lay leaders in the use of a powerful curriculum with congregants in their sixties and seventies, as well as interested fifty-year-olds and those active in their eighties. The curriculum--which includes topics such as: exploring this stage of life; becoming one's authentic self; a life review; relationship to our bodies; revitalizing and nourishing healthy relationships, cultivating qualities of soul; cultivating wisdom, and leaving a legacy -- is designed to facilitate the explorations of community members into the ways Jewish tradition and Jewish spiritual practices can help them age with spirit, resilience, and grace.

On January 8 and 9, 2017, funded by this grant, Rabbi Rachel Cowan, Dr. Linda Thal and Karen Frank will lead a two day training seminar for Wise Aging Facilitators. The training will be held at the Arthur I. Meyer Academy and at Temple Judea. 

2. REEL Matters: Heroes, Happenings & Issues—Mandell Jewish Community Center of the Palm Beaches;  Project Leader—Ellen Wedner

"Reel Matters: Heroes, Happenings and Issues" is a film series addressing Boomers' engagement with social issues via the lens of films with Jewish content or connections. The four part series will take place in December, February, March and April at JCC facilities in both Boynton Beach and Palm Beach Gardens, and will be open to the entire community.  Each film will include a collaborative opportunity for interactive dialogue with the film's director, a knowledgeable speaker, representatives from an organization relevant to the film's content or discussion with a panel of knowledgeable speakers. Attendees will also be offered opportunities to pursue further engagement with the film's subject matter to build on their emotional commitment and encourage continued involvement. Post film receptions will promote personal interaction with peers.

3. The Aging Mastery Program (AMP)—Alpert Jewish Family and Children’s Service (AJFCS); Project Leader—Leigh Routman

AJFCS will conduct 10-week programs developed by the National Council on Aging (NCOA) entitled The Aging Mastery Program (AMP). This program develops new expectations, norms, and pathways for people aged 50 to 100, to make the most of their gift of longevity. The curriculum includes the basics of aging mastery, including exercise, sleep, healthy eating, financial fitness, advance planning, healthy relationships, medication management, community engagement and falls prevention.

AMP's innovative approach guides individuals through this phase of life. The program incorporates evidence-informed materials, group discussion, peer support, and small rewards to impart skills and tools to achieve improvements in managing their health, remaining economically secure, and contributing actively in society. All program materials and resources align with the goal of helping people enjoy self-sufficient lives and motivate them to consider engagement in the Jewish community. 

4. Courageous Conversations—Temple Israel of West Palm Beach; Project Leader—Rabbi Cookie Lea Olshein

“Courageous Conversations” Social Action Program at Temple Israel of West Palm Beach is designed to foster communication and action between members of the Jewish community and the community-at-large regarding social issues impacting the Palm Beaches.  This is achieved through a series of four “Courageous Conversations consisting of learning, discussion, and planning for future action. Each Conversation is open to the entire community on a Friday night to frame each discussion in a holy context. The topic of the evening’s conversation is addressed during the worship service; afterwards, participants share dinner and attend a panel discussion to explore different viewpoints regarding the evening’s issue, followed by small-group discussions at each table led by trained facilitators.  Participants are invited to continue the conversations through various follow up methods. Typical topics to explore include: Opiate and Prescription Drug Abuse and Its Implications for Our Families and Community; Gun Violence Prevention; Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Awareness; and Racial Inequality and Its Impact on Our Community.

5.Guess Who's Coming to Shabbat—Temple Beth Am, Jupiter; Project Leaders—Danna Cohen, Carol Sleeper, Brett Tancer

Temple Beth Am is organizing member-hosted Shabbat dinners in peoples’ homes as a way to reach out to neighbors and others and connect them to community life.
This program combines insights from research in the Palm Beach community and successful dinner-engagement programs which show that these informal gatherings have been successful at connecting people—to new friends, to fellow congregants and, potentially, to the larger community.

Scheduling these dinners on the Sabbath also offers a beautiful connection to Jewish life and practice, combining the beauty of traditional Shabbat dinners with a warm social setting.

The synagogue provides hosts with a “host bag” to help organize and present the dinner. The bag includes blessings, candles, challah, wine, and conversation starters, all designed to help hosts become Shabbat dinner leaders.

Hosts reach out to the community to invite guests—some will be fellow congregants and others will simply be neighbors. It is hoped that initial dinners will lead to other gatherings and activities, whether additional dinners at participants’ homes or synagogue and community related events.

The five programs are in varying stages of implementation. 

The Palm Beach Jewish Boomer Platform, which is supported by an Innovation Grant from the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County, initiated the grants process as a way to ignite innovation and collaboration in the creation of new programs to involve Boomers and others in Jewish life. 

During the implementation stage, Platform members are assisting with marketing and programmatic ideas. They are also responsible for evaluating the programs’ impact and possibility for being repeated and expanded in the future to involve even more people.

For the Palm Beach Jewish Boomer Platform,
David Elcott, Ph. D. and Stuart Himmelfarb, MA/MBA
B3 The Jewish Boomer Platform, Inc.

c/o NYU/The Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service

Phone: 201 657 6641