For 34 years, Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles (JFS) has been holding seders for senior citizens across the Los Angeles area, sponsoring services and feeding those who have nowhere else to go during one of the most widely celebrated holidays on the festival calendar.
As my friends and I navigate our 60s and 70s, we notice — with amusement and consternation — how our conversations have changed. Instead of talking about our kids’ college applications and the best camping sites, we find ourselves discussing back pain and long-term care insurance. The bottom-line concern, of course, is how to create the best quality of life as we age.
As bombs dropped over Germany, aerial photographer Arthur Oxenberg would lean out of a B-17 Flying Fortress with his camera to snap a photograph. His photos were a way the U.S. Army Air Forces could tell whether bombs hit their targets.
The High Holy Day liturgy includes the poignant plea: "Do not cast me off b'eyt zikna," which is usually translated as "when I get old." It is a fear many of us have, but are often afraid to articulate. We live in a youth-intoxicated culture where older people are sometimes invisible.
I called my 94-year-old father in Ohio on July 9. I told him how much I loved him, that he was the most wonderful father ever, that I would miss him, and that it was OK for him to let go.
“Boomers [people born between 1946 and 1964] are the first generation in human history … to reasonably anticipate living well and wholesomely into their 80s and 90s, if not beyond,” sociologist Steven Cohen writes. “But not only are Jews (as others) living longer, they are living in an age of meaning-seeking, with the interest and wherewithal to make living a life of meaning an ultimate and reasonably obtainable objective for any point in their lives.”
Tess Friedman passes Ethel Kamiyama a bowl of charoset, and Kimayama spreads a spoonful of the fruit and nut paste onto her shard of matzah. Kamiyama leans over her plate as the small sandwich crumbles at her bite, and nods at Friedman, signaling that she finds this foray into Jewish culture quite tasty.
On a chilly Monday morning in late November, the sunlit patio outside Kip’s Toyland in the original Farmers Market was awash in anticipation. Reporters and city officials milled about, and passers-by with cameras hovered among the tables and chairs.
Innovation has been the Jewish response to societal change and spiritual longin
Jazz composer, cellist and pianist Fred Katz performed during a retrospective of his career at the Skirball Cultural Center on Feb. 20. Honored on the occasion of his 92nd birthday, Katz was joined by his son, flutist Hyman Katz, bassist Richard Simon and saxophonist Dave Koz, as well as the Flying Pisanos, John and Jeanne Pisano.
Elmore Kittower was 80 when he died in November 2007 at Silverado Senior Living, an assisted-living facility in Calabasas. His death was initially attributed to natural causes; at the time, a sheriff’s deputy told Kittower’s wife of 49 years, Rita, that her husband had “just stopped breathing.”
Birthdays with a zero have a special purchase on the imagination. Whether one turns 40 or 70, that zero marks a turning point, the end of an old decade and the beginning of a new one, a chance to take stock: what in Hebrew is called cheshbon ha-nefesh — literally, an accounting of your soul. And if that birthday takes place in Israel, where you once lived for years — and where you might have stayed, had you chosen to — you have a formula for cascading, competing visions of what was and what might have been.
Comedy (?) from The Daily Show. Post-debate analysis reveals John McCain is going to die soon, and Michelle Obama has a big butt. Are these Florida swing voters hilariously out of touch, or simply telling it like it is?