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A Hidden Gem: The 60 & Better Center at the J

Ed Sachsendorfer

The 60 & Better Center at the Mayerson JCC makes a difference in the lives of seniors in the Cincinnati area every day. With programs like day trips to see plays like Becoming Dr. Ruth, Friday movie days for only a dollar, and hot kosher lunches, the senior center offers a broad range of programming to the community. 60 & Better and JCC member Ed Sachsendorfer says that the center has impacted his life in a positive way. Ed joined the J for the same reason many people do—because he is Jewish and lives in Amberley Village. He has stayed because he has found a community. When he first joined, he came to work out; he took exercise classes and sought out services from the J Spa.

One day, when he was still working, there was a fire drill at his office. While standing outside, he figured he might as well go grab some lunch and headed to the J.

“I knew they served a hot lunch every day at the 60 & Better Center, so I tried it out” Ed said. “It was so great; it became my daily lunch trip!”

As someone who keeps kosher, the congregate lunches have been extremely valuable to him—so much so, that he arranges his schedule around them. On most days, you can find Ed hanging out in the Amberley Room with friends, enjoying a hot kosher lunch.

“When Ed was working, he would have to come in a few minutes later since he was coming from work on his lunch break,” Assistant Director of 60 & Better Services Chris Ellison said. “Of course, we were able to set aside a plate for him. Ed has become such a regular now that people start asking about him if he isn’t there!”

What started as lunches has expanded to participation in social programming. Ed has taken part in several day trips including going to the Skirball Museum at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and getting a bite at the Kinneret Grill. He says these meetups are a great way to spend time with people and go out, especially for those who are seeking new friendships and hoping to fill a space in their lives. These programs are also good for those who do not or cannot drive anymore, since the J provides transportation.

Not only are there events and programming to enjoy, for Ed, it has led to forming important connections. Ed attended one of the many Mercy Health doctor lectures at the J and became interested in seeking medical care from that particular physician.

“When I called, they said they weren’t taking new patients,” Ed said. “But after I mentioned that I heard that doctor speak at a lecture at the Mayerson JCC and I had been tracking my blood pressure because of it, he called me back and took me in as a patient.”

His doctor found him to be in great health, but Ed now feels confident that he is in good hands when issues arise.

“If I would not have seen him during that lecture at the J, I would have never found this great doctor.”

The 60 & Better Center is unique, and Ed said that his friends agree. While some friends from New York were visiting, they decided to join him for a seder. They loved it and found the experience of being with

everyone fresh and exciting. That same sense of camaraderie is something Ed looks forward to every day.

“They told me that they wished they had something like that back home, and I gave them a tour of the building,” Ed said. “Even if the other Jewish communities have something like what we have, it usually isn’t to the same degree,” Chris adds.

“I have been asked about places that aren’t well known in Cincinnati that people should know about,” Ed said. “I told them that the 60 & Better Center is a true hidden gem.”

Cross training. Young woman exercising with dumbbells.

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