Renaissance Happenings

Posted on November 13, 2020 by Esther Wallach, Renaissance Group

The COVID-19 pandemic is motivating us to develop new coping skills to be healthy in body and mind. Togetherness helps us to do that. Our members sharing what is going on in their day-to-day lives brings us together:

Lines of Your Life

Gayle Skolky: I spend my time reading and folk dancing, and dance along with Ira Weisburd via YouTube. Also, I am now in six book discussion groups, and sign up for Zoom lectures on Jewish Book Council, Jewish Women’s Archive, RVCC Holocaust and Genocide Studies, and other Jewish study classes. There are author talks on Simon and Schuster’s Facebook page, and Friends and Fiction. I also walk around my block with neighbors. At first, I could barely get around the block once, but now I can walk two-and-a-half miles without stopping. I definitely feel I have made the best I can of this difficult time. I am not bored, but miss seeing friends and family. It’s so hard not going into New York City to see Broadway plays and museums, and it’s a shame about all the vacation and cruises we had to cancel. But thankfully, we are all healthy and safe.

Esther Kaufman: Family birthday celebrations in September – my daughter Gayle’s fiftieth birthday, five days later my son Neil’s forty-sixth, and four days later my granddaughter Danielle’s twenty-eighth! Yeah simchas!

Susan and Ed Steinfeld: Driveway chats with neighbors and pixel art projects. We are doing well but miss NORMAL! Virtual hugs to all!

Gail Wohl: I do keep surprisingly busy despite so much being closed. I play golf and mah jongg, Zoom with Florida friends and meet up outdoors with friends at the Canal Walk gazebo. And so it goes. Mostly I miss seeing much of my family, but we are thankful that all 12 are well so far.

Art and Betty Roswell: We are okay here at Laurel Circle. They have opened the system to allow visitors in our apartment! That includes Sherree, our exercise person! Our daughter-in-law has brain cancer, but she is coping as well as can be expected.

Lil Swickle: Things are quiet at Canal Walk, where I live. I try to walk each day for a half hour, swim at the JCC three times a week, and chat with a few people outside at the gazebo in the afternoon. I read, do puzzles, play mah jongg online and watch TV. Sometimes I’m bored, but that’s better than many who are having a tougher time.

Gail Meyers: Walking outside, gathering with friends on the patio, compiling my mother’s recipes into an album for the grandchildren, organizing photos, lots of reading, mah jongg online and Facetiming with my family. I’ve become an expert at virtual hugs.

Esther Wallach: My days are filled with cooking, baking and searching Google to find new recipes that intrigue me. I have always been interested in dietary nutrition, so this sequestered time has been invaluable to broadening my repertoire. I could never have devoted this much energy to such an exploration prior to COVID. A blessing in disguise!

Harriet Thaler: Thank you for these Lines of Your Life. All Renaissance members are invited to send a few lines for the next issue in January 2021. Email before December 10 to As for me, I find I am woefully unable to accomplish my daily to-do lists. But there is joy in my woe, including walks with my Labradoodle, Bob; going online with friends to play mah jongg as we chat on our phones; Zoom with family and friends, temple book club, and so on. There truly seem to be fewer hours in the day. I compensate by staying up late. Be safe!

The Renaissance Group is a 50+ social group that gets together to share interests, experiences, and activities. New membership is welcomed! Should you wish additional information about the group, or want to contribute to the Renaissance Happenings column, we welcome your submissions on a learned experience or human interest story. Please contact Harriet Thaler at 908-788-0269 or

Originally published in the November-December 2020 issue of the Shofar. For more issues of the Shofar, visit the Shofar archives.