Kol Ami — The Northern Virginia Reconstructionist Community
By Susan Freiband
January 23, 2020
This is the title of a new guidebook (Behrman House, 2019, $17.95) created by a long time community organizer, Richard Siegel (Co-creator of THE JEWISH CATALOG) and Rabbi Laura Geller, a well known Rabbi from California, along with 15 other contributors. It presents new ways of approaching aging. It is divided into six parts, each including several chapters. There are lively, eye catching illustrations, quotes, words of wisdom, personal stories and insights. At the end of each part, there are references relating to each of the chapters, useful books and online resources dealing with the topics presented. The book includes notes on contributors, as well as a detailed index. The scope of the book is broad, introducing a broad range of topics, rather presenting an in depth treatment of each.
What should we be getting good at, as we get older, according to this new guidebook? Part one focuses on gaining wisdom, including developing new rituals, lifelong learning, sageing. Part two deals with getting along, including caring for parents, adult children and grandchildren, acquiring friends, finding a community. Part three tackles getting better, including staying fit, caring for your emotional self, living in the land of the sick, mourning and moving on. Part four deals with getting ready, getting stuff together, funeral planning, talking about life and death. Part five covers giving back, including volunteering, mentoring. Part six covers giving away, including philanthropy, leaving a legacy, telling your story.
This guidebook is a useful tool not only for elders, but also for those in other stages of life. Its down to earth, practical approach, makes it especially valuable. It is available at the Arlington County Public Library (call number: 296.7 Siege).