Promoting Well-being: A Discussion for Older Adults & Their Loved Ones

Join in a discussion about the emotional and physical opportunities and challenges commonly experienced by senior members of our community.

The program will be led by Bet Am Shalom congregants, Heidi Weiss and Mara Reinhardt, both experts in the field of geriatric care.

The discussion will be structured in a question/answer format, moderated by Rabbi Fredda Cohen and Jo Kellman.

We will deal with issues such as:

·  common and less common mental health issues that older adults face

·  what older adults want their children to understand

·  strategies to facilitate meaningful and difficult conversations between generations

·  concerns of family members

·   resources in the community for older adults, their caregivers, family, and friends

Participants are encouraged to bring their own questions and share their own experiences.

Registration is requested, but not required.
Contact Rabbi Fredda Cohen at  for more information.


This program is sponsored by Refu'at Hanefesh/the Mental Health Chevra of Bet Am Shalom. It is a collaboration of WJCS Partners in Caring Program, a program of the Jewish Programs division.  


Heidi Weiss is a licensed social worker, health advocate and educator who applies a palliative lens to individuals and family members facing serious, chronic debilitating and life-limiting illness.  She focuses on the impact of illness on emotional well-being, community resources, initiating complex conversations and supportive counseling.  Presently she sits on the Advisory Board of the Montefiore Center for the Aging Brain.

Heidi has taught at the NYU Post Master’s Certification Program in Palliative Care, The Fordham University Graduate School of Social Work and the Health Advocacy Program at Sarah Lawrence College.  Heidi holds a Master of Social Work degree from the Univ. of CT; a Master’s degree from the Sarah Lawrence Graduate Program in Health Advocacy and a BA in Psychology from the State Univ. of NY in Buffalo.  She sits on various community networks including The Collaborative for Palliative Care in Westchester, The Alzheimer’s Collaborative; the Cancer Coalition and the Central and Northern Westchester Geriatric Committee.

Mara Reinhardt, Psy.D. is a psychologist in private practice in New York CIty. She also is a consultant at various facilities in Westchester and Rockland Counties, working with older adults and their families. Common issues that are addressed in treatment include loss of independent functioning, social network, spouse, and role in life. Other common themes are ageism and physical and cognitive decline. Dr. Reinhardt has worked with this population for 20 years.

Dr. Reinhardt graduated from Yeshiva University, Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology in 1997. She has also had training in psychoanalytic theory and practice at NYU Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis. She is a member of American Psychological Association and New York State Psychological Association (Division of Adult Development and Aging).

Rabbi Fredda Cohen, MA, JD, BCC, is the Director of Pastoral Care and Education at White Plains Hospital in White Plains, New York. She has lectured extensively in the fields of pastoral education, bikur cholim, palliative care and spirituality.  

Rabbi Cohen was ordained as a rabbi by the Jewish Theological Seminary in 2010, where she also earned an MA in Judaic Studies. She is a board certified chaplain under the auspices of Neshama: Association of Jewish Chaplains (NAJC), and currently serves on its board.  Rabbi Cohen received the prestigious Chaplain of the Year Award conferred by the New York Board of Rabbi in 2015.

Jo Kellman is an early childhood educator who has taught in secular and Jewish Early Childhood Programs.  She directed Day Care and Head start Programs and was a Family Educator for Westchester Children’s Association.

After teaching early education at Westchester Community College, she became an Associate in the Early Childhood Department of the Board of Jewish Education and worked with the Directors ofcenters in Westchester Synagogues and JCC s. Jo is the grandma of nine and great grandma of two! 

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