Yom Iyyun: Day of Learning for All Ages: “Aging Begins at Birth!”

 Registration is closed for this event

Sunday, July 26 at 9:00 am - Register Now

A day of exploration and play about aging — your own and your loved ones, including your parents, your children, and our CBST community. Who will you be as you get older? What can you do now to improve your life as an older adult? How can we become a community that is age-friendly, where our multiple generations, sexual orientations, and gender identities learn from, support, and enjoy each other?

All ages are encouraged to attend this multi-generational day of learning organized by the Task Force on Aging at CBST. The day will feature a variety of teachings, workshops, and activities designed to inform and engage on issues of identity, aging, and wellness.

The day begins with Mindful Yoga, followed by an introductory morning session — Why are we here today? Who are we? and LGBTQ identification through the generations led by Senior Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum, — you will then be able to choose from a variety of sessions relating to our bodies, minds, and spirit including: T’ai chi, Sleep, Community as Family, Health Care Proxies and Advance Care Directives, and opportunites for learning with Rabbi Yael Rapport and Rabbi Atara Cohen. An optional virtual lunch-table shmooze will round out the day.

Registration and breakout classes are free to attend, but please consider a contribution at your discretion to Lehrhaus Adult Education at CBST. All registrants will be emailed the Zoom link information to attend the morning of the program, at 8 am, Sunday, July 26. Photo Credits: Harold Levine, Jeany Heller, and courtesy of Aleinu


9:00 - 9:50 AM - Mindful Yoga With Hilary NudellLet's come back to our body and senses! Join us for a moderate to gentle yoga practice that reminds us to be fully present. All levels welcome, and modifications will be offered for whomever shows up. Participating in a Yoga class may help improve balance, strength, and flexibility. What you will need: comfortable clothes, a long sock, tie or yoga strap, a place to lie down (firm bed or floor) a chair (for those who need to modify postures) and/or if possible an available wall.

10:00 - 11:15 AM - Welcome/Introductory Session 

  • Why Are We Here Today? Moderator, Judy Ribnick, LCSW, MA, Consulting Director of Aging Initiatives. With Senior Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum - Creating a multi-generational, caring, and supportive community; reframing ageism; and incorporating these intentions into the fabric of CBST.
  • What a Difference a Year Makes! With Kenneth Karpel, Co-Chair of CBST's Task Force on Aging - Highlights of last summer’s survey of CBST’s older adults; today’s reality. 
  • Everyone Ages— Get a Grip! With Dr. Rosanne Leipzig, Co-Chair of CBST's Task Force on Aging - Everyone ages and, as they say, it's better than the alternative. Don’t fight it, embrace it. Find out what you can do throughout your life to improve old age for yourself and those you care about.

11:20 AM - 12:05 PM - Breakout Sessions (pick one)

  • Introduction to “What Matters – Caring conversations About End of Life – for all adults of any age” - With Rabbi Nancy H. WienerDirector of the Blaustein Center for Pastoral Counseling at HUC-JIR, New York,Tina Jensen-Spinoza, Senior Staff Attorney and Total Life Choices Program Coordinator at New York Legal Assitance Group - Who will make decisions for you when you can’t? How can you best communicate your feelings about life-support? CBST is part of an initiative in the NYC Jewish community that provides synagogues the tools to offer members of all ages facilitated conversations about Advance Care Planning.
  • Sleepless in the City With Gregory A. Hinrichsen, PhD, Mount Sinai Hospital - Improve your sleep —at any age.
  • LGBTQ+ - What Have We Named Ourselves Over Time? Rabbi Yael Rapport, Assistant Rabbi, CBST  Rabbi Rapport will moderate a group discussion and sharing on the subject of identifiers and their shifting meanings over the generations.

12:10 PM - 12:55 PM - Breakout Sessions (pick one)

  • "We All Need Some Buddies to Lean On" Wendl Kornfeld, Developer of “Community as Family – Empowerment Strategies for Solo Agers" and Judy Ribnick, LCSW, MA, CBST Consulting Director of Aging Initiatives: At some point in your life, you may be living alone or anticipate living alone. Many “Solo Agers” don’t feel they have the support of family or friends to help them. This session is an introduction to the “Community as Family” model that explores how people of all ages can: 1) age independently with better knowledge of and access to critical resources; and 2) deepen their community ties to create a virtual family or “A Team.” We’ll learn some specific strategies and explore the possibility of developing a “Community as Family” forum at CBST. 
  • T’ai Chi Chuan With George Kormendi, New York School of T’ai Chi Chuan - Ancient exercise that embodies concepts of health and movement. Tai chi teaches movements that flow into each other, shifting your weight and extending your limbs to challenge your balance. It’s also meditative, as the movements are accompanied by slow deep breathing. It has been shown to decrease falls in older adults, and to provide improved balance and well being in all.
  • Social Justice Work at Every Age With Rabbi Atara Cohen, Cooperberg-Rittmaster Pastoral and Educational Intern - Learning from Torah texts how we can use the assets of our different ages and abilities to pursue a better world.

1:00 - 1:15 PM - Wrap Up - Comments, Questions, Evaluation

1:15 - 2:00 PM - Optional Bring-Your-Own-Lunch Shmooze



Rabbi Atara Cohen, Cooperberg-Rittmaster Pastoral and Educational Intern - Rabbi Atara Cohen received semichah from Yeshivat Maharat in June and has studied Torah in a variety of settings, including Hadar, Drisha, and a BA in religion at Princeton University. During rabbinical school, Atara focused on human rights and social change through various fellowships. She has served as a rabbinic intern at the Columbia-Barnard Hillel and is currently a Cooperberg-Rittmaster Pastoral and Educational Intern at Congregation Beit Simchat Torah. Atara is quarantining in Riverdale, where she thinks about social justice, embroiders, and experiments with Persian cooking.

Gregory A. Hinrichsen, PhD is on the faculty in the Dept. of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.  He is a psychologist who has been in the field of aging for over forty years.  He is the author of Assessment and Treatment of Older Adults: A Guide for Mental Health Professionals, published last year by the American Psychological Association. 

Tina Janssen-Spinosa is a senior staff attorney at the New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG) and the Program Coordinator for Total Life Choices, the advance planning program at NYLAG. She has actively expanded the program and focuses on assisting persons with a wide variety of planning instruments, including Medical Advance Directives, Powers of Attorney and Last Wills and Testaments. Tina also provides guidance and assistance with the probate and administration of estates, Art. 81 Guardianships and Art. 17-A Guardianships. Tina presents informational seminars and trainings to community groups, takes part in health care resource events and builds ties with other community based organizations that seek legal assistance for their clients. As Program Coordinator, Tina supervises a team of volunteer law students and attorneys.

Kenneth Karpel is honored to contribute to the well-being our multi-generational CBST community as a member of the board of directors and co-chair of the Task Force on Aging. His professional life as an architect devoted to public service included two seminal years in Tunisia as a Peace Corps volunteer/municipal architect and Vice President of Architecture and Engineering for the NYC School Construction Authority.

Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum, Senior Rabbi, serves as spiritual leader of Congregation Beit Simchat Torah. She was installed as CBST’s first rabbi in 1992, arriving at the height of the AIDS crisis when the synagogue was in desperate need of pastoral care and spiritual leadership. She guided the congregation through a period of loss and change, while addressing social issues of the day and building a strong and deeply spiritual community. Under her leadership as Senior Rabbi, CBST has become a powerful voice in the movement for equality and justice for people of all sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions and a significant force challenging the radical right’s dominance over religious and political life in the United States and around the world.  Rabbi Kleinbaum has long been involved in the fight for human rights for all people.  For many years Rabbi Kleinbaum has been ranked by Newsweek among the 50 most influential rabbis in America.  Rabbi Kleinbaum was appointed by Senator Schumer to the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom and served on the commission.  She is also a Commissioner on New York City's Commission on Human Rights and serves on Mayor de Blasio's Faith Based Advisory Council. Sharon Kleinbaum’s longtime leadership of Congregation Beth Simchat Torah and her outspoken activism have made her a powerful voice for GLBTQ rights and human rights in America and around the world.

George Kormendi has studied and taught Tai Chi Chuan for over 30 years with The New York School of Tai Chi Chuan (www.taichichuan.org), an affiliate of the T’ai Chi Foundation, founded by Professor Patrick Watson. George’s studies have included direct study with Professor Patrick Watson and his senior students. Patrick was a senior student of Master Cheng Man-Ch’ing, who was a senior student of Yang Cheng-Fu, and one of the most renowned Tai Chi teachers of the last century. Along with conducting ongoing classes for the New York School of T’ai Chi Chuan, George has had a wide variety of teaching experience with a broad spectrum of people, including performing artists, students, academic officials, and corporate executives, having taught T’ai Chi for organizations as diverse as the Omega Institute, the Dance Department of Sara Lawrence College, the Stella Adler Acting Conservatory, the Ford Foundation, the NYC Public School system, and the NYC Department of Corrections, District Council 37 (New York City workers’ union), YW-YMCA, and the NYC Department of Transportation.

Wendl Kornfeld - Wendl created the concept of Community as Family (CAF) in 2014 and facilitates a group of solo agers at Temple Emanu-El in NYC. She has consulted with dozens of organizations and individuals interested in setting up similar groups, and in December 2018 introduced CAF basics to the Committee on Aging, United Nations NYC. The aim of CAF is to anticipate and prepare for the changes and challenges of later years by being an empowered self-advocate. The key elements of CAF include identifying critical resources, deepening community engagement, and building a supportive team from among friends, neighbors, colleagues and professionals.

Dr. Rosanne Leipzig is a geriatric geriatrician, Professor and vice chair for education for the Brookdale Department of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, a long, long time member of CBST, a current board member and co-chair of its Aging task force, and author of the forthcoming book, Age/Old Questions: A geriatrician’s guide to Aging What’s normal, what’s not, and what you can do about it.

Hilary Nudell has been teaching courses in yoga, stress management, and meditation at Fashion Institute of Technology for over 25 years. She holds a master's degree from Bank Street College of Education. In addition to studying with numerous yoga, meditation, and mindfulness teachers over the years, including Sharon Salzberg and Joseph Goldstein, she has studied Yoga at Kripalu in Massachusetts and at Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram in Chennai under the direction of T.K.V. Desikachar. She has an E-RYT 500 from Yoga Alliance.

Rabbi Yael Rapport, Assistant Rabbi, was ordained by the Reform Movement’s HUC-JIR in 2015 and joined the CBST clergy team in the summer of 2016. Prior to her work at CBST, she served as a Chaplain Resident in the Mount Sinai Health System at Mount Sinai Beth Israel focusing on inpatient and outpatient oncology and the Gender Affirmation Surgical Unit.

Judy Ribnick, LCSW, MA, is a licensed clinical social worker specializing in community, geriatric and multi-generational services.  Judy worked at DOROT, Inc., where she helped create and implement an array of innovative social service and intergenerational programs, including integrating social workers into synagogue settings.  Judy is delighted to be the consulting Director of Aging Initiatives at CBST, where she is working with the congregation, Board, staff and clergy to try to create an even more all-age-friendly community. 

Rabbi Nancy H. Wiener holds the Steinberg Chair in Human Relations and is the Director of the Blaustein Center for Pastoral Counseling at HUC-JIR, New York. She is on the board of T'ruah and the Rabbinic council of JFREJ.

July 26th, 2020 9:00 AM   through   2:00 PM
via ZOOM
United States
Registration & Contribution at Your Discretion
Number of People Attending
11:20 AM Breakout Selection
Intro to “What Matters"
Sleepless in the City
Workshop with Rabbi Rapport
12:10 PM Breakout Selection
"We All Need Some Buddies to Lean On"
T’ai Chi Chuan
Social Justice Work at Every Age
Contribution at your discretion:
$100 Contributor
$180 Supporter
$360 Sponsor
$1000 Patron
Other: $