Bonding for Mitzvahs

Last night I attended a secular meeting at the home of a Jewish friend as the guest of another Jewish friend.  While all of us have adult children, we noticed that we were among the youngest people there.  We mentioned it to an officer of the organization after the meeting, and she said that when the group was formed, everybody had young children.  The group stayed together, enjoying the present without thinking about the future.
A Jewish group I belonged to also started with a bunch of young mothers.  The kids became preteens, the mothers had to start shlepping them everywhere while holding jobs and it became harder to get people to be in charge of anything.  The group is still alive but relatively inactive.
People of all ages may have less time than they used to, but they still want to connect.  Whether they have lived here for many years or are new to the area, they often want to connect with other Jewish people.  They may not know how, but they would respond to an invitation from a friend or family member.  With schedules being what they are, it might be especially nice to have an afternoon or evening of bonding with a parent or child.  When there is a mitzvah involved, it gets even better.
One of my most gratifying moments of 2013 was attending the Jewish Federation & Family Services Women’s Philanthropy luncheon with my daughter, along with friends and their daughters.  It was nice to look around a room of 600 women and see that they came in all ages, incomes and ways of observance. Everyone mingled and had a good time schmoozing with people from all over Orange County.  Throughout the year these women raise money and engage in worthwhile projects for Orange County, Israel and elsewhere.
A few years ago, Orange County Jewish men decided to do likewise.  Now the Solomon Society brings together fathers and sons, neighbors and friends, observant Jews and less-than-observant Jews from all over the county.  Inspired by how well the women’s organization was functioning, the group developed events that men would like. Now the Solomon Society has raised a lot of money and created a lot of friendships.  I have no doubt that many fathers and sons are grateful for the chance to bond.  They will do that at an annual event, Late Night with the Solomon Society, in October.  (See the story on page 34.)
October will bring a lot of events to the Jewish community.  Check out the JCC Arts Festival, which will kick off with two acclaimed authors – Naomi Ragen and Ron Balson – in October before the Matisyahu concert on November 2. (See the story on page 26 and look for more in the November issue.)
Finally, please note that this is our senior issue.  Not only do we present stories about two remarkable seniors and various organizations, but we also encourage you to participate in a special event sponsored by the Alzehimer’s Association of Orange County.
Walk to End Alzheimer’s® will be held at the following Orange County locations:

•    The District at Tustin: Saturday, October 26
•    Huntington Beach: Saturday, November 2
•    Angel Stadium, Anaheim: Saturday, November 16

People choose to walk for a multitude of reasons including to honor a loved one, raise awareness within the community, fund research and support services.  The end of Alzheimer’s disease starts here.  Register today at alz.org/walk or call (800) 272-3900.
Orange County Jewish Life is proud to sponsor this great mitzvah.  Your editor will be there, walking and wearing purple, naturally.
Ilene Schneider

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