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In 2016, our list of activities included:More exercise classes
Excursion to Sand Sculptures, Frankston – FebruaryWe had a great time at the sand sculptures located on the Frankston foreshore. Although I’ve personally sneaked a look many a time through holes the surrounding fence – it was nothing like seeing the artistry up front! The size, yet intricate details of the sculptures, was amazing.
More craft activities - January 2016We have recently learned the art of paper quilling, as well as paper toll. We’ve been having great fun doing thee craft activities which before we never thought ourselves capable of.
Regular Scrabble and craft mornings - August 2015Due to its success, on the first Monday of each month we now regularly have a Scrabble morning, followed by lunch.
Men’s Breakfast - July 2015We had another successful Men’s Breakfast, and the participants have already set a date to get together again after the Yom Tovim. It is good to know these men are bonding together and feeling comfortable to share their feelings.
Scrabble - May 2015Two of the seven women who attended had never played scrabble before, and now they are ‘hooked’. It was enjoyed by all, and looks like becoming a monthly feature. Several other ladies joined us after the scrabble, for a healthy lunch.
Men’s Breakfast - May 2015This was the first of our MEN ONLY functions, and we were very pleased at the turnout. Seven guys met up, and, I am told, it was very beneficial. The morning allowed the men with the rare opportunity to share their thoughts and feelings, and they all expressed the desire to meet up again.
Mosaics evening - January 2015Our first event for the new year started with moans of despair and inadequacies as members were invited to attend a session at Merryl's Mosaics, in Caulfield. However their fears were unfounded, and everyone was totally amazed at the wonderful artwork they created. Thanks to Gandel Philanthropy for their sponsorship of this event.
End of year dinner/Chanukah party - December 2014JBP was delighted to provide a relaxed dinner at Milk 'n Honey, for our members to celebrate the end of a year where new activities were initiated, and quite a few new friendships were formed. Thanks to Gandel Philanthropy for their sponsorship of this event.
Bus trip to Main St, Mornington - December 2014Following on from the success of last month's bus trip, this time we travelled to Main St, Mornington, on a pleasant Wednesday, where there is a regular weekly craft market along the length of the main road.
Our first bus trip - to Yarra Glen Chocolate Factory - November 2014We travelled by mini-bus to the picturesque Yarra Glen, to the stunning architect designed Chocolaterie, the factory and showroom, set amid sweeping valley vistas, expansive lawns and fragrant rose gardens. It was indeed a sweet feast for the senses.
An inspirational evening with Aliza Bulow - September 2014Aliza Bulow converted to Judaism at just 16 years of age. She teaches classes, develops programs and offers individual spiritual guidance that helps fuel the spark of Jewish pride and involvement in people from across the spectrum of Jewish association. She also suffered the death of her 19 year old son just over a year ago, and felt her relationship with G-d helps her to deal with her loss. She was a fascinating speaker, leaving some of us with envy for her unflappable faith.
Monday Movers, our 40 week Keep Fit program – from May 2014With thanks to Gandel Philanthropy, we are running a year-long program (holidays excluded) of Keep Fit Classes. Our trainer is Terri Bahat, an experienced personal trainer and life coach, specializing in women over the age of 50 – which happens to include almost all of our members. We have a great time with Terri each week, pulling, stretching, dancing or punching. Classes are held in our Quiet room on Mondays mornings, except for the first Monday of the month when they are held in a private home in the evening, so those working can attend. Lunch/Supper is served, and allows for more bonding with our members.
Chat ‘n’ Chew lunch date – December 2013We enjoyed a very interesting talk by dietitian Joel Feren. Joel has a passion for the role of diet in the prevention of disease, He answered all our concerns, and helped to explain some food myths, as well as explaining how important it is to read food labels more carefully. Afterwards, we shared a healthy lunch, and more conversation – with some friendly mums trying to set up Joel with a date!
Twelve week Tai Chi course – from Sept 2013With thanks to Glen Eira Council for a grant, we were able to run a twelve week course in Tai Chi. Our very experienced teacher, Pauline Gardiner, kept us on our toes, as we progressed through all the movements. We followed each weekly lesson by a light lunch and chat in our Quiet Room.
Our first CRAFTY supper night – Calico Dolls for kids in hospital - July 2013With thanks to those members who cut out the patterns and those who sewed them, the meeting started with about 40 dolls, ready for our members to fill with clean stuffing, while enjoying their own supper! Hopefully this is the first of many evenings when we can get together and chat – and also help others at the same time. This first batch of dolls will be going to Royal Childrens Hospital. It is envisaged that many of our social evenings (held every second month) will involve this or some other activity, not requiring much expertise, but truly valuable.
Our first Chat ‘n’ Chew lunch date - July 2013Our first lunchtime guest speaker was Dr Ilana Galgut. Ilana has had more than her fair share of major issues to deal with, and has had to re-evaluate her life, her priorities, her goals, and her expectations. I don’t know if she actually calls herself a ‘motivator’, but she certainly is one. All those who attended – the room was overflowing – were very impressed by Ilana’s strength and attitude. Her struggle is on-going, but her determination will never end.
The unveiling of our Tree of Remembrance - May 2013It is with a sense of sad pride that we have produced a memorial plaque to honour our children. On this evening, we unveiled it to show our members, with 19 leaves already purchased. For every leaf purchased, a Yartzeit candle holder was given to the parent. This was also an opportunity for some of the men to check out the library, which they had not yet seen.
Our new library and ‘Quiet Room’ are established - December 2012We had our first meeting in our ‘Quiet Room’ today – except we weren’t very quiet! There were 14 of us, all bereaved mums – and there were at least 4 different conversations going at any one time. I hope our members make use of this room, to borrow books, have a drink, listen to gentle music or just to relax somewhere away from home.
A panel discussion evening with Australian Jewish Psychologists - October 2012Together with Australian Jewish Psychologists we hosted a panel discussion evening. The topic was “When a Jewish child dies - helping families cope after the death of a child" The panel was chaired by Nathan Kotler (Psychologist), and the speakers were David Morawetz (Psychologist), Ephraim Finch (from Melbourne Chevra Kadisha), Laibl Wolf (Spiritgrow) and myself, Cynthia Pollak from Jewish Bereaved Parents' Support Group. Members of the panel were available to answer questions afterwards and during supper.
An evening with leading psychologist David Morawetz - August 2012One of the books I had bought for our library was written by David Morawetz. I was very touched by this book, and delighted to find that David was both Jewish and local! David is a Clinical and Counselling Psychologist in Private Practice in Melbourne, with a special interest in helping people deal with grief. David’s six week old son Michael Yosef died of cot death in 1985. David presented a talk on Parental Grief and was very helpful answering our questions and discussing specific issues with our members.
An inspiring evening with Gershon Wachtel - February 2012We had been formed for several months when it was brought to our attention that Gershon Wachtel, a Canadian virtuoso pianist and inspirational speaker, himself a bereaved parent, was coming to Melbourne. With some trepidation, we decided to ask Gershon if he could spare some time for us. Gershon was delighted to oblige, and he provided a wonderful warm, inspirational and engaging evening. This was our first ‘function’ and it was comforting for us to meet other parents who we could relate to, who understand us as no one else can.
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