By Hilda Lopez
Written about Hilda’s experience in Donna Rubenoff’s Wise Aging Course (Sessions I and II)
Donna will be starting a new Wise Aging group in October 2017

Age and growing older is a journey everyone takes. My dad (papi), who lived until the age of 90, used to say that growing old in body was hard because if we are blessed with a continued sharp mind, it still thinks it’s young. However, he believed each birthday celebration was good because it sure beat the alternative. Papi thought life was a wonderful journey that we are blessed to go on. He often wished he had a guide or facilitator to help him in this later stage of life. Papi didn’t have that guide to help him along the way but luckily I do.

Donna’s Wise Aging* class is awe inspiring. Being in her class has helped me to start planning for retirement and thinking of how I want to spend my golden years. Everyone in the class is open to exploring.

Donna is wonderfully talented at sharing her knowledge. Her class and actions are a catalyst to helping participants open their hearts and minds. With the use of written material, havruta discussions**, journaling and other techniques, each participant has the opportunity to evaluate their past and present lives in order to move into the next phase of life, becoming older as we age wisely.

Papi would be proud of both me and Donna.

Old age is not a defeat, but a victory, not a punishment but a privilege. –Abraham Joshua Heschel


*The Wise Aging course is taught by people trained at the Institute for Jewish Spirituality.

**Havruta discussions: a form of learning based on a traditional rabbinic approach to Talmudic study where a pair of students analyze, discuss and debate a shared text.