As we grow older and retire or move to a new community, we may not have quite as many opportunities to socialize as we did when we were younger. For many of us, if you're not heading to an office or getting out and about each day, you may be missing out on important social interaction that is needed to stay sharp, healthy, and maybe even ward off dementia. Staying socially active and maintaining interpersonal relationships and social interactions even help protect against illness by boosting your immune system.
For adult programming in this area, the J is the place to be! This month, we will focus our staff spotlight on our Adult Services Programming Director, Carla Rosenfeld, whose been at the J for 15 years!
Originally from New York, Carla was born in Brooklyn, and raised in Westchester County. She has lived in the DC area for over 30 years. Before coming to the J in 2001, she worked in Association Management with several different associations as a manager in both membership and conferences. As the Adult Programming Director at the J, she plans programs, classes, cards and games, and special events. According to Carla, “(m)aybe someday when I retire I will develop some hobbies.” For now, she loves what she does at the J so much she can almost consider it a hobby.
To Carla, she doesn’t just see the J as a place to work out or take classes. She sees it as a family of people who care about each other – both staff and members. It’s a place to hang with friends after class, go to lunch, schmooze, etc. Carla feels the J is especially important, because the Jewish population in this area is so spread out and it provides a central location that all Jews and others can feel welcome, no matter what denomination they are.
Carla’s advice to members is to look beyond what they are currently doing at the J, and to find out what else is going on in our building, since there is so much to offer! She feels that way too often, people tend to stick to the specific interest that brought them to the J, without finding out about all the other things going on. Carla thinks members should take the opportunity to “make friends and learn something new.”
Of course, Carla’s favorite thing about working at the J is the people. When she meets someone who is new to the Northern VA area and they just discovered the J, she loves getting them involved and seeing them make new friends and become a part of our community. This happens all the time and is the most rewarding feeling and the reason she absolutely loves what she does.
The Adult Services Department at the J offers social and self-development programs and activities for adults of all ages. Subject areas include cultural activities, such as films, concerts, and lectures; Judaic programs, such as Hebrew and Yiddish language classes; outreach programming for adults 55+; and, social activities such as day trips and theatre outings. Click here to learn more.