North Central News

‘Creative Aging’ classes commence Jan. 14

Seniors of all faiths will enjoy learning traditional Israeli dances beginning Jan. 15 at Congregation Beth Israel (submitted photo).

Jewish Family & Children’s Service is offering a new session of its popular Creative Aging classes for the winter, beginning the week of Jan. 14.

Creative Aging is a national initiative based on studies showing that older adults live longer and better if they are actively involved in the Arts. The movement is aimed at fostering an understanding of the vital relationship between creative expression and quality of life for older adults (

“According to the US Census Bureau, one in four people in Arizona will be over age 60 by the year 2020,” reports Janet Arnold Rees, JFCS director of the Creative Aging program. “We need to find innovative ways to keep our older adults actively engaged. Creative Aging is based on an ‘assets approach’ to aging, emphasizing what “can” be done rather than what limitations there might be.”
The program began in January of 2017. Since then over 220 older adults from ages 63-94 have participated in the classes. “We’ve gotten great feedback,” says Rees. “Participants appreciate the professionally-run classes, the chance to learn new skills and the time to connect with their contemporaries.”

The program offers four classes in northeast Phoenix/Scottsdale:

Story Telling, Tuesdays, Jan. 15-March 5, an 8-week session at Temple Solel, 6805 E. McDonald Drive in Paradise Valley. Classes are from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. These classes are taught by Kim Porter, who is an award-winning playwright and performer, and was recently named Best Storyteller by the Phoenix New Times.

The Sunshine Singers, a Senior Chorus, meets on Thursday mornings at Temple Chai, 4645 E. Marilyn Road in Phoenix, Jan. 17-March 7. The chorus is led by Dan Kurek, who has 35 years’ experience teaching music and who has been the Temple Chai choir director for 9 years. Kurek also teaches a small group Voice class providing individual attention, at Temple Chai on Wednesdays, Jan. 16-March 6.

Israeli Dance runs Tuesdays, Jan. 15-March 5, at Congregation Beth Israel, 10460 N. 56th St., Scottsdale. The classes are taught by Nancy Stone, a local dance instructor. “This kind of dance is great for both mind and body,” Stone says, “plus it’s great fun!”

All classes are open to adults 60 or older. Registration fees vary. Registration is available on the JFCS website:, by contacting, or calling 480-599-7198.

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