60 Days of Giving: ‘EnRich for Life’ Engages Seniors

Moving to a new city is difficult for anyone, but imagine trying to do it later in life. That’s what we did over a year ago, when we moved from Minneapolis, Minnesota to Richmond, Virginia in order to be closer to our kids and grandchildren in Richmond and Cary, North Carolina.

After moving here, we realized that just because we are physically closer to family, that doesn’t necessarily mean that we are always engaging with them, for they can be busy with school, work, and a multitude of other activities. And without a school or other programs to attend, meeting new people and connecting with the community was difficult. So our daughter in law, Dena Neuwirth (an active member of Beth Ahabah and past board member of the Weinstein JCC), recommended that we try attending EnRich, the collaborative program between Jewish Family Services and the Weinstein JCC.

After becoming regular EnRich participants, we now feel engaged in the Jewish and Richmond community. From the lunch, to the speakers, classes and trips, EnRich has provided us the opportunity to engage with other adults in Richmond, the Jewish community, and the sites of Richmond.

We have enjoyed the intellectually stimulating speakers as well as the trip to the Virginia Holocaust Museum in March with EnRich and hope to have the opportunity to explore more places in Richmond. We have also taken the time to attend classes, like Allen Cohen’s Judaism 101 Class that took place in August. Since attending EnRich, we have joined the Weinstein JCC (and enjoy working out there), the 5400 Club, and we hope to be able to volunteer with JFS in the future. EnRich is such a great, engaging program and the timing is perfect for older adults. We don’t even accept other appointments on Mondays anymore because that’s our JCC Day.

*Esther and Gerry Neuwirth are newcomers to the Richmond Jewish Community, but have a history of active engagement in the Minneapolis Jewish Community. For years, Esther Neuwirth was active at the Jewish Federation of Minneapolis and Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Minneapolis. Together, Esther and Dr. Gerry Neuwirth were members of Adath Yeshurun Congregation for over 40 years, and are now members of Congregation Beth Ahabah.

About EnRich:

On a monthly basis, the Weinstein JCC and Jewish Family Services team up to provide older adults an opportunity that enlightens and engages them through lunch, a speaker, classes, and trips.

This innovative program provides a variety of interesting offerings that meet the social, mental and physical needs of senior adults, ages 65 and older. After the educational speaker program, participants can select an active or creative activity, or a trip. Creative activities includes art classes, films, technology tutorials and more. The active options gets people up and moving through fun activities like dance classes, tai chi, yoga or Zumba. Participants can choose between the active and creative activity options to create an afternoon that fits their individual interests.

Thanks to generous funding from the Jewish Community Federation of Richmond’s Impact Grants and the Ernst and Anne Fischer Older Adult Fund of Richmond Jewish Foundation, this program provides much-needed services to improve the lives of older adults and promote collaboration between agencies.

EnRich takes place from 11:00 am – 2:30 pm once a month, is free and open to the public and includes a hot kosher lunch. The events are held in the Israel November Auditorium and other locations throughout the Weinstein JCC facility. If you’re interested in attending, contact Shari Menlowe-Barck at 804.545.8611 or sbarck@weinsteinjcc.org.