Spring Benefit Honors Young
For the supporters who attended DOROT’s 36th Anniversary Spring Benefit on May 31, the evening offered glimpses of two disparate points on the spectrum of life: men and women pushing the upper edge of longevity and the upcoming generation of involved youngsters committed to the well–being of this growing population.
and Very Old
The program, held at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, featured a presentation by photographer Jerry Friedman, author of Earth’s Elders: The Wisdom of the World’s Oldest People. DOROT also paid tribute to the graduating seniors of Next Generation, DOROT’s Teen Leadership Council: Eliezer Hanft, Amelia Holcomb, and Adriana Sisley.
“DOROT provides practical help that enables the elderly to maintain their independence,” said DOROT Board President Nancy Rankin, citing the agency’s assistive programs, as well as its teleconference classes and on–site concerts. But, she added, DOROT also provides friendship. “And that, it turns out, is the most vital support of all as we grow old.”
Executive Director Mark Meridy commended the Next Generation honorees “for choosing to improve the lives of the older members of our community. You have impressed us with your compassion and leadership abilities,” he said.
In her remarks, Adriana Sisley, president of Next Generation, noted that participation in the group had increased her organizing skills, introduced her to a diverse group of teen volunteers, and amplified her empathy for the elders she encountered in her daily life. “DOROT teaches all of us to take notice of the elderly, and not to hesitate in being their friend,” she said. ”I’m proud, and grateful, to be part of this community.”
DOROT is grateful to Benefit Chair Laurie Davidowitz, Journal Chair Renée Adler Ascher, and the Benefit Committee for organizing this moving and successful event.
Photographs were taken by The Visual Image.
Recipe for a Long Life
In his presentation at DOROT’s 36th Anniversary Spring Benefit, Jerry Friedman discussed the traits common to the supercentenarians he had interviewed throughout the world. They were:
• Lifelong good health
• A genetic legacy of longevity
• The ability to cope and adapt in the face of physical or emotional trauma
• Strong family and/or community ties
• Hard work
• Eating just enough to live; consuming unprocessed, natural food
• Faith in a higher power (though not necessarily a formal religion)
• A sense of humor
Mr. Friedman emphasized that these “ingredients” could not be cherry–picked; the lives of the elders he met were marked by all of these traits.