Most people can agree that it’s hard living in a large, urban city and making time for the abundance of things you would like to eventually try, see or experience. It’s a nice thought to think that you will someday make it to the new museum to experience the ever changing exhibits, drop by a cultural center to gain new knowledge of other peoples or pop over to a historical building for a tour, but how many of us will actually get around to doing those things? Bill Maina, a resident of Presbyterian Village North, has lived in Dallas for more than 30 years, and he is excited to experience some new places, thanks to the life enrichment team at the senior living community, which is led by Lisa Englander. Recently, the life enrichment team planned a trip to Temple Emanu-El in Dallas so residents could see the newly renovated Jewish Temple.
“I have always been intrigued by Temple Emanu-El, and was delighted to see the new architecture that was part of the renovation project completed this last October,” said Maina. “It was a great trip, and our tour guide was insightful. She explained many details pertaining to the building and the sacred Torah scrolls one of which she pulled out for us to see. It was 250 years old, and had been rescued and brought over from Czechoslovakia during the Holocaust. We learned a lot about the significance and formation of the Torah. It was incredibly fascinating. Being an Episcopalian, I didn’t have much background on the Jewish faith. My knowledge was skimpy, but I felt I learned a great deal on this outing.”
The group of residents toured three different chapels, ending up in the newest chapel where they received a lovely concert sung by Cantor Leslie Niren, associate Cantor at Temple Emanu-El. She played the guitar and sang, prompting the seniors to join along. It was an educational, spiritual and cultural experience that was enjoyed by all who attended.
“I was sought out by several residents who requested I arrange a trip to Temple Emanu-El,” said Englander. “Many of our residents have attended book reviews there previously, and one of our residents said her son’s Boy Scout troop used to meet there. One of our other residents has been a member of Temple Emanu-El for a long time. A different resident’s father was a part of a construction company that helped build the temple as well. In addition, we have a meditation instructor who came here from the temple, and leads two monthly meditation classes for residents to attend. There are many diverse connections, hence why this trip was meaningful to so many people. We plan at least two to three of these off-campus excursions each month. We visit well-known places, local tourist spots and smaller unfamiliar historical sites and museums. I’m happy that the residents feel comfortable coming to me with ideas.”
These outings provide opportunities for social engagement and complement the five aspects of wellness – intellectual, physical, social, spiritual and vocational. The life enrichment team prides itself on finding activities, events and experiences that cater to a variety of interests, ones that residents have never heard of, or have been meaning to do or tried and true favorites in the Dallas - Fort Worth area. Previously, Presbyterian Village North has scheduled trips to see the Federal Reserve Bank and its museum, dance recitals put on by students at Southern Methodist University, the Holocaust Museum, the Dallas Arboretum, The Kimbell Art Museum and so much more. Next month, residents will take a bus to see the Old Red Courthouse Dallas Museum of History and will celebrate the Chinese New Year at Howard Wang’s. The outings are either historical, educational, entertainment-focused or a combination of the three.