By Eric Vernon, AJA 50+
For connection in the age of COVID-19, quarantine crowds everywhere have been turning in droves to Zoom. The now-ubiquitous conferencing app is powering everything from family gatherings and business meetings to book clubs, choirs and religious services.
Added to the list of enthusiastic Zoomers is Active Jewish Adults (AJA) 50+. With the Soloway Jewish Community Centre closed, and social distancing the new protocol, it became clear early into the pandemic that AJA 50+ had to cancel its spring session of excellent programs ready to be rolled out. Soon after, it was decided that rather than rename the organization “Inactive Jewish Adults 50+,” we needed to go with the flow and provide virtual programs online.
So far, the initiative has been a tremendous success. The Zoom programs have garnered excellent participation from membership as speakers have given freely of their time to enlighten registrants with their expertise in a variety of fascinating areas. It calls to mind the rabbi who was asked to deliver an extra midweek sermon via Zoom. When asked about remuneration for the additional work the rabbi replied, “Of course not. I will do it for the COVID.”
To date, AJA 50+ Zoom programs have examined Ancient Greece; looked at aspects of COVID-19; delineated between free speech and hate speech; demonstrated knish baking; had fun with trivia; and traced the hockey history of Jews on Ice (in two parts, yet!).
Creative Connections, the AJA 50+ program for “senior” seniors, has been meeting weekly on Zoom to help maintain vital contact with that sector as they shelter in place.
More engaging and informative programs are in the pipeline. If you are interested in offering a program or would like more information, including how to register, contact AJA 50+ at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AJA 50+ hopes to “see” you soon.