The Good Life

Keeping In Touch, At A Distance

Ways to alleviate emotional distress when families are in crisis.

Staff Writer

Boca Raton, Fla. — When Ben Schwartz’s mother died at home in Australia, he flew to the funeral from his home in Israel but could not afford the airfare for his wife and five children. So while sitting shiva, Schwartz, not his real name, jotted down the names and comments of those who visited so he could share them each evening with his wife and children at home.

“Oceans Apart” author Rochel Berman, center, with workshop presenters Hindy Rubin and Anita Stern Heering.

Homeland For The Jewish Soul

As the number of delis decline and newfangled ones embrace sustainability, of all things, a nostalgic look back at the heyday of a New York institution.

Special To The Jewish Week

Growing up in Great Neck in the 1970s and ’80s, I listened eagerly to my mother and her cousin Marcia reminiscing about working Sunday evenings waiting tables and busing dishes in Kaufman’s Deli, which was Uncle Herbie’s place on Division Avenue in Williamsburg. I heard about the hustle and bustle, the interactions between the working class customers and the wise-cracking old Jewish waiters, the kibitzing at the deli counter with the jocular countermen in their paper hats.

The staff at Katz’s Deli, circa 1940s: Overstuffed sandwiches and Jewish solidarity. Marlene Katz Padover

The Walk Of Life

For a 101-year-old Brooklynite, the secret to longevity is her strolling regimen.

Special To The Jewish Week

‘I’m just an ordinary person,” said Lillian Silverman, 101, who celebrated her July 4th birthday (twice) this month. Born in Brownsville, and a lifelong Brooklyn resident, she walks at least one hour a day in her Borough Park neighborhood. “It’s part of my living — all though the years,” she said.

Fitness comes naturally to Silverman. “I don’t know how to get around except walking. Whoever heard of taking the bus to go to 9th or 10th Avenue?” she said. “I couldn’t think of any other way than walking.”

Lillian Silverman with grandson Alan Jacobson, who shares her July 4th birthday.

A Home For Active Retirees

Developers now targeting younger crowd as trend becomes more widespread.

Israel Correspondent

Jerusalem — As her husband Gordon’s retirement neared seven years ago, Dorothy Mandelzweig, who made aliyah from South Africa about 20 years ago, began scouting around for a place to retire.

Longtime residents of Rishon Lezion,
southwest of Tel Aviv, the couple sought an affordable home in a retirement community nearby.

The Mandelzweig’s soon came to the conclusion that communities that cater to active seniors tend to be very expensive, especially in the center of the country, so they widened their search.

The Jerusalem Citadel bills itself  as “exclusive retirement living.” It boasts a pool and spa. Photos by Michele Chabin

My Beloved Is Mine — At Last

Activist lesbian grandmothers marry at first opportunity.

Special To The Jewish Week

When Connie Kurtz and Ruthie Berman met more than a half century ago, they soon became friends in the way of new mothers everywhere, sharing tips on diapers and formula as they strolled with their babies down McDonald Avenue in Brooklyn. Some 14 years later, in a twist that shocked them both, they fell in love. They divorced their husbands, established a home together and became vocal activists for gay rights.

Connie Kurtz, left, and Ruthie Berman during their wedding ceremony Tuesday at CBST. Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum officiated.

A Wake-up Call For Caregivers

Former Times reporter’s book is generational guide too dealing with aging parents.

Jewish Week Book Critic

After years of reporting work, Jane Gross came to believe that she was one phone call away from any piece of information that she needed. Still, even after 30 years at The New York Times on the health and aging beat, among others, she found it very difficult to navigate the system of Medicare and other health benefits when she and her brother, who is also a talented writer, became caregivers for their mother. All of their specialized resources and competence proved useless. In an interview, she wonders out loud how, if they couldn’t figure it out, how could others?

In “A Bittersweet Season,” Jane Gross taps into a large societal concern, not often articulated.

The Good Life (July 2011)

New Paths to a New Stage of Life
Boomers and Their Aging Parents; Never Too Old for Love; Israel Now Catering to Active Retirees

The Good Life (July 2011)

The Good Life, July, 2010

Linking the younger and older generations, from here to Israel.


Bruce Feiler’s surrogate fathers … Young people connecting with Holocaust survivors … Following the kids to Israel.

The Good Life, July 2010

From Ohio To The Old City

It takes a retirement village
for an Israel bar mitzvah.




It was a bar mitzvah for the ages — or, rather, the aged.

A handful of residents from an Ohio retirement community visited Israel for a 12-day mission culminating in a group bar mitzvah in Jerusalem’s Old City.

For some of the octogenarians at Cedar Village in Mason, near Cincinnati, it was their first bar/bat mitzvah.

“I never dreamed this could happen to me,” said Ethel Regberg, 86, who was among those celebrating their first bar/bat mitzvah. Her husband, Paul, 87, had a bar mitzvah, too.

How To Retire, Happily

Ten tips from the Sun Belt
on staying active, fit and appreciated.


 Scottsdale, Ariz. — Most working stiffs imagine retired life to be heaven. But not everyone who has been there would agree.

“A life of incessant recreation and indolence is enough to drive any business entity like you or me mad after 3.5 years,” columnist Stanley Bing wrote in the June 23, 2006 issue of Forbes. “No, in order to make your ostensibly golden years work for you, you have to pursue a strategic plan as rigorous as any you implement when your hair was as full and bushy as your ambitions.” 

Scottsdale, Ariz., is one of the Sun Belt destinations drawing retirees.
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