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SAYVA: A New Approach to Positive Aging

Welcome to SAYVA!

Sayva is the Bible’s word for the wisdom and depth that comes in our later years.

Jewish tradition never saw old age as a time of diminishment, disability and loss. The old were never retired, removed or isolated.  The tradition recognized that elders possess capacities, talents and energies that are uniquely valuable. The tradition celebrated the unique contributions of elders to our collective life. This ideal is the foundation of a new initiative in our community. Welcome to SAYVA!

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Upcoming SAYVA Programs

There are no upcoming events at this time.

 

About SAYVA

Valley Beth Shalom, in collaboration with Temple Ramat Zion and Temple Judea, has been awarded a grant from the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles to form SAYVA: A New Approach to Positive Aging.

SAYVA provides educational, recreational, community-building and wellness programming to hundreds of Jewish older adults. The program aims to provide opportunities for older adults to feel connected, appreciated, and useful in their community, therefore enabling them to lead more fulfilling lives in older age.

"Sayva means the wisdom and depth that comes in our later years," says Rabbi Ed Feinstein. "Unlike American culture, Jewish tradition never saw old age as a time of diminishment, disability and loss. The old were never retired, removed or isolated. The Jewish tradition recognized that elders possess a capacity to see life from higher perspectives. The tradition honored and celebrated the unique contributions of elders to our collective life. The goal of SAYVA is to make the years of Later Adulthood joyful, interesting and purposeful – a time of life to be anticipated, celebrated and cherished."

Click here to learn more about the JCF grant in their press release

The Backstory. 

In 1900, the average American life expectancy was 47. In the 1930’s, it extended to 65, so Social Security and Medicare were set to that age. By the end of WW2, the life span grew to 72. Today, if you reach 65, you can expect to live well into your 80’s or 90’s.  Every year, Hallmark sells 85,000 “Happy 100th Birthday” cards. With these extra years, the American idea of “retirement” is obsolete. Many of us will live 30 years, a full third of our lives, after age 65!

There’s a challenge: While we live much longer, our culture has no script, no map, no concept for all these years. We knew how to be teenagers.  We understood the expectations of adulthood. We even knew what reaching middle age meant. What does this time of life hold for us?  We don’t even have a name for this time of life. It is sometimes called “Later Adulthood”; “Third Chapter”; “Adulthood II”; “Encore Years” – that period of life between the end of work and end of life. For many, it is a time of (relative) physical and mental capacity, of independence, mobility, financial security, and sociability. But there is no social map to help us find our way through this time of life. 

The Program.

The goal of SAYVA is to make these years of Later Adulthood joyful, interesting and purposeful – a time of life to be celebrated and anticipated. We aim to create a new culture for this time of life with its own special opportunities, experiences and values. Our objective is to launch a center of programs that will generate this new culture, embracing people in their Later Adulthood, and offer them a way of life to be celebrated. SAYVA is a program of Valley Beth Shalom, Temple Judea, Temple Ramat Zion, with the generous support of the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles.

Meet Jeff Bernhardt, SAYVA Project Consultant

Jeff's job is to connect us with significant volunteer opportunities, tailored to our interests, time and needs. Contact Jeff to learn more at jbernhardt@vbs.org.

CLICK HERE to read Jeff's Bio >

 


Sayva Interest Questionnaire

Below please find a brief questionnaire. We encourage you to fill it out online and email it to jbernhardt@vbs.org or print it out and send it to VBS (attention: SAYVA). This is an opportunity for you to share your ideas and interests and helps us to shape the program!

CLICK HERE to view the questionnaire >


Sat, May 25 2024 17 Iyyar 5784