December 20, 2017 was “graduation day” for our members who successfully completed the 2017 Jewish Aging Mastery Program.

Let’s give a big round of applause for these outstanding senior students (cheers, all!) and a hearty ‘thanks’ to Debbie Goodman (Director of Jewish Life and Learning) and Debbie MacKillop (Intergenerational & Adult Programs Coordinator) for all of the effort they put into coordinating and conducting JAMP. We celebrate this program for successfully sharing how senior citizens can combine the science and art of aging with the wisdom of the Jewish faith.

A group of 10+ seniors were able to meet weekly to hear fabulous speakers discuss medication management, healthy relationships, financial stability, and community engagement. Upon completion, the seniors discussed the true value they were able to gain from this program and how it will benefit them for years to come. One graduate stated, “JAMP helped me with good information and inspiration to find a purpose in this time of my age journey,” and another shared, “A change I am making from JAMP is accepting my age and looking forward to learning and sharing my journey of a bright life!”.

graduation day

This type of programming here at the J is tremendously useful for our aging members who are new to the Denver community, or even the Jewish community. Many of this year’s JAMP students recently move to Denver and a handful did not identify as Jewish. This program does a fantastic job of bringing relevant information to our community regardless of an individual’s background or previous experience.

One of the students lived in Israel for 25 years, NYC for 40+ years, and recently moved to Denver to retire, another worked as a Career Counselor at the University of Denver for years and recently retired, and three of the students spoke Hebrew. The diversity of this student body showcases how universally helpful education programs such as JAMP can be for our senior population.

In addition to the vital information our students learn through JAMP, they also gain lifelong friendships that allow further guidance and learning opportunities as the circumnavigate the aging process. As said by one student, “What I most enjoyed about JAMP was being in a learning environment with great people.” Brought together by their initial interest in learning about various topics on aging, the students were able to come together and learn from Debbie Goodman, Debbie MacKillop, outside speakers, and each other. Students were able to connect and learn from each other’s past experiences, backgrounds, and cultures in a way that fosters a sense of community and belonging.

graduation day

Our students weren’t the only ones that learned a thing or two throughout JAMP. Both Debbie Goodman and Debbie MacKillop remarked on how much they learn from their students throughout this educational program. “We learned a lot–we learn so much from the class,” says Debbie G. The students learn from them, and they learn from their students–a delightful, reciprocal arrangement.

We are overjoyed for our graduating members of the “Class of 2017” JAMP student body. Thanks to the aid of Debbie Goodman, Debbie MacKillop, Hannah Plush, and outside speakers, these students were able to quench their insatiable thirst for knowledge and enlightenment. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Congratulations on a successful JAMP 2017!