Allison Schwartz is excited to take on a new challenge as director of Chavurat Shalom, working with older adults to give them a program that actively engages them and encourages them to stay active and enjoy life.
She is no stranger to working with people and making sure their needs are being met. With a master’s degree in mental health counseling and community service, she brings great experience, empathy and energy to her new job.
“I always had an interest in working with older adults,” Schwartz said. “But I’ve worked with all populations.”
When she recently found herself between jobs, she applied and was hired to direct the group, whose goal is to “To provide a weekly space for seniors to be entertained and socialize,” she said. “To provide stimulating conversation in an easy fashion, within a Jewish mission.”
She wants to do more outreach to other seniors within the community from different congregations to broaden the group to include those who “are playing Canasta and golf three times a week.” The program is open to Jewish seniors ages 60 and older. “We want to keep them active and engage them in lively discussions,” she said. “Seniors can often become isolated, and we want to prevent that by keeping it interesting.”
Schwartz said she’s working to try to organize more day trips with the group and possibly take them to see some CenterStage productions and other outings.
Schwartz grew up in Louisville and attended Indiana University. She moved to Chicago to get her master’s degree from Roosevelt University and lived there for 15 years. She is married to Ari Schwartz, and has two sons, Alex, 10, and Matthew, 8.
“My favorite thing about the job is working and engaging with older adults,” Schwartz said. “I have a great deal of respect for them, and I feel they deserve that respect. We can learn a lot from them. They live with grace and humility, and a lot of authenticity. It’s refreshing to be around people who are that honest. And they are very, very funny!
“They don’t care. If they don’t like the soup, they will tell you, and you’d better get it out of the way fast!”
Chavurat Shalom meets at The Temple most Thursdays. Healthy, nutritious lunches are available, including a kosher option upon advance request, for $5. Transportation is also available upon request for $5. Program information is printed in Community each month. (See story, this page.)
For more information or to make reservations, call 502-423-1818 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chavurat Shalom is funded through The Jewish Heritage Fund for Excellence, the Jewish Federation of Louisville, The Temple, The Temple Brotherhood and Sisterhood, National Council of Jewish Women and many other generous donors.