2016-12-21 / Federation

Community Shark Tank programs are underway

The first projects funded through the Jewish Federation’s Community Shark Tank this past June are just being launched. We’re excited to see the fruits of this collaboration come to life with innovative programming to help seniors in our community!

Three of our Federation agencies—Samost JFCS, Katz JCC, and Jewish Senior Housing and Healthcare—teamed up to create Café Connection, offering a morning of socializing over coffee, engaging in a creative arts activity, learning about community resources, and sharing laughter and relaxation for individuals with memory challenges and their care partners. The idea behind the Café is to “leave the disease at the door” and remove the stigma and social isolation that many folks with memory challenges experience. Café Connection brings people together in a welcoming, safe, and non-judgmental setting where everyone “gets it.”

Café Connection meets on the second Thursday of each month at the JCC, with the next Café on January 12. Many participants stay for the congregate lunch at the JCC ($2.50/person), and some even stay after lunch for the Movement and Motivation class (free to Café participants), thus making a day of it. This program is free to participants, but reservations are required. Contact Reva Farenback-Brateman, project director for Café Connection, at (856) 424-1333, ext. 1184.

S-Uber is another collaboration between JFCS, the JCC, and Jewish Senior Housing and Healthcare—this time along with community member Shirley Brenner—to educate senior members of our community about ride-sharing programs, such as Uber, as another transportation option for getting around. It’s important to limit the isolation that can grow for people who are not able to get out of their homes easily—either because they can’t drive, because their friends can’t drive them, or because the cost of transportation is prohibitive. Public transportation options for seniors are not always the answer with some solely for medical appointments, limitations on how far they’ll go, and requiring reservations. This often leaves seniors without transportation for social outings, which are so important to keep people feeling vital.

The first two S-Uber education sessions were held on September 28, with three more sessions planned for 2017. Over 100 people came out to the first two sessions to learn about using ride-sharing programs and how to access them through their own smartphones or through the phones of family or friends. Representatives from Uber were on hand to demonstrate how their service works, to answer questions from the audience, and to offer discount coupons for users’ first rides.

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