MONTREAL — The Cummings Jewish Centre for Seniors (CJCS) reaches out to Montreal’s 50-plus community with diverse day and evening winter programs at different venues and varied time slots. CJCS strives to accommodate its members, and takes into account what they would like to pursue, where it should take place and when it should be scheduled.
In addition to the main campus at 5700 Westbury Ave., CJCS runs activities and events elsewhere in Montreal and off-campus in Westmount, Chomedey and the West Island. Club Haverim 50-plus was established last summer in Laval. Under the direction of Catherine Pinto Tordjman, the club provides a full complement of programs in French for the Sephardi community.
To access the CJCS bilingual guide, visit www.cummingscentre.org, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. or phone 514-342-1234. Although membership plus nominal fees are required for most activities, a number of events are free.
Bridge is always a big draw at CJCS and program services director Elaine Shapiro is confident everybody will be delighted with innovations this winter from January to April. The good news is bridge players can register for two sessions of balanced hands and/or register for two sessions of reverses.
“People want to keep up with their bridge but some don’t want to commit to a series,” Shapiro said. “We have arranged a ‘pay as you play’ option in which no registration is required.”
Computer literacy, e-mail and the web open so many doors in the 21st century. With recent advances in digital technology, it’s hard to keep up unless someone is around to provide guidance. Thanks to the mavens at CJCS, nobody need ever be confused about setting up an iPod, maintaining a computer, burning a CD/DVD or choosing and operating a digital camera, because one-session workshops are scheduled in each of these fields. Members can also register for a series of courses in Windows Levels 1 and 2 at the Nina and Harry Hart Computer Learning Centre.
Shapiro said she is constantly amazed at the professional calibre of jewelry and artwork members create in the craft centre. To get a taste of what’s possible, Shapiro suggests registering for CJCS’s innovative one-day workshops in polymer clay in January, colour harmony beading in March, as well as a flower demonstration on holiday centrepieces. The flower demo in April is free but registration is advised to ensure a spot.
Among other new fine arts offerings are mosaic/collage, print making, open workshop with Suzy Levy and a live model workshop.
Mah Jongg has engaged participants for centuries, and Shapiro notes the game continues to gain momentum. CJCS enhanced this winter’s program with a choice of supervised day or evening Mah Jongg sessions.
Anyone wishing to improve language skills in English, French or Hebrew can register for a series of classes. Among the myriad choices in literature courses, CJCS scheduled a session titled “Books and Bagels with Larry Weller” on February 20 from 10 a.m. to noon.
Members preoccupied with commitments by day can opt for evening programs such as opera connection and numerous art programs. Members can also register for sessions in which they will join Weller for Dinner at the Movies from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Cummings. He is also presenting an afternoon session at the Westmount Mini-Centre. At the latter, Weller will explore the changing role of women in North American cinema.
Chomedey residents don’t have to venture out of the district because off-campus programs are conducted right around the corner. Registration is underway at the Young Israel of Chomedey Synagogue at 1025 Elizabeth Blvd. Activities run the gamut from working with computers, fitness and fine arts and crafts.
Moreover, it’s Prime Time on the West Island, where January registration takes place at 96 Roger Pilon on the corner of Westpark Blvd. West Islanders have a plethora of choices such as Mah Jongg, smart shopping in Montreal, information on Montreal Chassidism from past to present, training in CPR, bridge and yoga. In addition, members can register for some extraordinary one-session events: an Interfaith panel discussion on Three Solitudes and book reviews. The latter are held on the West Island but at different venues.
CJCS is a mecca to interact and enjoy stimulating discussions, and offers members a chance to glean information from experts. Journalist Jay Bryan will devote three sessions to shed light on a topic of great concern, titled “An era of Financial Uncertainty.”
Professor Marvin Hershorn presents six sessions dealing with “Sex, Lies, and Corruption in Politics.” Francis Charet addresses “War, Violence and Civilization,” (four sessions) as well as “Consciousness and the Brain” (four sessions).
Both Hershorn and Charet will lecture at the main campus on Westbury Avenue as well as the Westmount Mini-Centre in the Temple Emanu-El-Beth Sholom at 395 Elm Ave. Dr. Henry Habib will discuss “Leadership and the Political Elite” in the Middle East for three sessions in March at the Westmount venue.
The health professionals at the Maurice Gross Family Foundation Wellness Centre have the expertise, patience and equipment to help members get into shape. Recently, they developed a mix of exercises highlighting strength, balance and posture.
Reality dance shows are the rage on television but Zumba dancers do more than glide to Latin and world music. They report feeling great after their healthy aerobic workout.
CJCS offers Pilates and yoga classes at beginner and intermediate levels. Among the one-session fitness workshops are functional exercises using an exercise ball and one using balls and bars to perform functional exercises.