Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Jewish communities grapple with baby boomer retirement boom

Seniors participating in a Zumba class
at the JFCS Center for Senior Enrichment in Phoenix, Ariz.
Courtesy JFCS
Every Jewish community wants more Raymonde Fiol among its active retirees. The question is whether those communities are prepared to meet the needs she and hundreds of thousands of "younger seniors" and older ones will have in the near future.

Now 76, Fiol has resided in Las Vegas for the past 11 years. She belongs there to a synagogue, Hadassah and Na’amat USA, a women's Zionist organization. Her volunteer time largely is spent as president of the Holocaust Survivors Group of Southern Nevada. In spare moments, she and her husband of 56 years, Philip, enjoy the area’s nature parks and attending lectures....

She and her husband are part of the area’s growing senior population. The Jewish community is thought to have a larger share of people ages 65 and over than America generally, based on statistics from the last National Jewish Population Study and the 2010 U.S. Census. With the baby boomer generation entering the 65+ age group, experts say Jewish institutions will have to work hard to keep up with what is expected to be a growing need for social services and social offerings among Jewish elderly. -- Neil Rubin, JTA

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