Embracing the Next Chapter with Purpose and Connection

My dad is about to turn 75 years old, and his calendar is often filled with volunteering, meet ups with friends, services or programs at his synagogue, and time with family. He is navigating new territory as a retiree and widow who seeks to reconnect with what matters most in life- people, purpose, and values.  

My in laws, also in their 70s and retired, downsized a few years ago and moved to a condo complex. My husband and I say that they’re living their best life and experiencing the fun of college dorm life. They’ve made new friends and begun having Shabbat dinner with neighbors- they never did Shabbat prior.  

Is this the next chapter of life? Next adventure?  

According to a national study conducted by Jewish Federations of North America in March 2023, adults ages 55-74 years old are seeking deeper engagement and connections with other Jewish people in a similar stage of life. They’re interested in more modern and meaningful ways to engage Jewishly and with peers.  

The same study shows that adults 55+ are the largest population (45%) in the Jewish community. According to The Associated’s 2020 Community Study, in Baltimore, 43% of the Jewish community is made up of adults in their 50s, 60s, and 70s. While active contributors to society, these adults are seeking a deeper connection to others. 

There is a real epidemic of loneliness, backed up by research from the U.S. Surgeon General which claims: “the mortality impact of being socially disconnected is similar to that caused by smoking up to 15 cigarettes a day, and even greater than that associated with obesity and physical inactivity.” The report noted that before the pandemic, one in two adults in America reported experiencing loneliness.  

We can help address this health concern by improving the social fabric within our own community, developing strong modern social networks. 

Here’s how our team at the Macks Jewish Connection Network are responding to this reality: 

We strive to address the engagement needs of the 55+ adult population at various stages of life. In all the work we do at our agency, we are using a relationship-based engagement approach to connect with people to get to know them, and to help them form connections with others. We are co-creating experiences tailored to this group. We offer a variety of ways to live with purpose, including meaningful volunteering, experiences that foster new connections and friendships, and resources to deepen your Jewish identity and your ties to the community. Our mission is to empower people to explore and deepen their own Jewish journeys—inspiring them to form lasting connections to a diverse, inclusive and vibrant Baltimore Jewish community.

If you’re 55+ and identify with being Jewish and living in and around Baltimore, we want to hear from you and about how we can better engage you! We want to learn about your journeys, what you’re seeking and what you have to offer, and we want to build more community opportunities with you! Please reach out if you want to connect over coffee or tea.