Senior Connections is a new initiative intended to address the communal and spiritual needs of the increasingly large Jewish aging population in Central Virginia.
May 1, 2015
Latifa Kropf, Director
The Senior Connections Story
Senior Connections is a new initiative intended to address the communal and spiritual needs of the increasingly large Jewish aging population in Central Virginia. "The primary goal of Senior Connections is to connect with and support our Jewish elders,” says Latifa Kropf, Senior Connections Coordinator. The program is funded by the Eitelberg Fund of the United Jewish Fund of Charlottesville (UJFC) and is run by Congregation Beth Israel.
A 2014 survey found that we have many Jewish seniors in the community who live in isolation, lack transportation to needed services, don't know how to get the medical attention they need, or have financial problems. Some would like to attend services at the synagogue but can't get out. The Senior Connections program is helping Jewish seniors meet those needs, often connecting them to available services. Your donations will help give meaning and security to these people.
Senior Connections Support Services
Latifa Kropf, the Eitelberg Senior Connections program coordinator, offers these services and activities:
1 on 1 visits. Some of these take place at home. Some involve going on lunch dates or to social events in the community, to films and adult education activities at Cong. Beth Israel, rides in the country, and doctors visits. Latifa also helps seniors maintain connections with their children, and connects them with needed community resources.
Some visits include learning Hebrew prayers. She’s taken videos of seniors recounting anecdotes about their lives, and shared those videos with their families. And sometimes it’s simply a conversation or a phone call with someone who needs more human contact.
Programs that include Jewish content. There are Torah studies sessions twice a month. They take place on Thursday afternoons at the Colonnades facility and are led by one of our community’s rabbis and other professional community members. Some the topics covered are commentaries on the weekly Torah reading, genealogy, poetry, healing, and mourning practices all from a Jewish perspective. These sessions are open to and attended by members of the larger Charlottesville community as well as the seniors. Latifa also helps organize Jewish holiday celebrations and coordinates monthly Kabbalat Shabbat services at the Colonnades.
Wise aging classes. The classes are based on the book Wise Aging: Living with Joy, Resilience, & Spirit, by Linda Thal and Rachel Cowan. Classes involve readings, discussions, meditations, and more. The topics range from the legacy you’re leaving, writing an ethical will, and forgiveness, to spiritual friendships and maintaining joy in your life. The purpose of the class is to develop strategies that will be helpful to the participants as they face the challenges of aging.
For more information, contact Latifa at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call her at 434-974-7016