In this first “dress rehearsal” of Jewish Sacred Aging Radio, on BlogTalkRadio, Rabbi Richard Address holds conversationswith Jeff Garson about the Decency Group, a community of like-minded people seeking to create lives informed by Radical Decency principles – Decency to self, others and the world, at all times and in every context; and in the second half of the show, chats with Ross Schriftman about Alzheimer’s Disease, and his documentary film about his mother’s battle with Alzheimer’s.
The show also features commentary with Stefanie Levine Cohen, a New Jersey-based author and hospice care volunteer.
About the Guests
Jeff offers support to clients in his areas of specialization: psychotherapy and the law. His diverse life experience allows him to support individuals and businesses in goal setting, strategic planning and, crucially, in crafting action plans for getting from here to there.
Jeff’s experience as a psychotherapist and coach extends back to the mid-1990s, leading men’s groups and coaching couples. In full time private practice since 2002, he works with a broad range of clients. Jeff’s special interest is in dealing with the practical and emotional challenges created by the relentless demands of our overly busy, overly competitive lives. His abiding belief: We should strive to make our professional pursuits an extension of our deepest aspirations – instead of being an unfortunate exception to them – at the center of our life
A practicing attorney for 25 years, prior to re-tooling as a therapist and coach, Jeff also provides legal support to clients:
Assisting them in the crucial task of locating attorneys who are skilled in their areas of need and, in addition, attentive and cost conscious; and
Managing these professional relationships in ways that minimize expense and insure accountability.
Jeff brings to his work a wealth of practical life experience from his first career as an attorney, nonprofit executive, and community leader. Following a Third Circuit Court of Appeals clerkship, he was – for 25 years – a large firm attorney, specializing in litigation and commercial bankruptcy. His experience in the public sector includes service with the National Constitution Center (co-founder); the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia (Board Chair); and the Shefa Fund (General Counsel and Senior Director).
Jeff is a graduate of University of Pennsylvania Law School (J.D., magna cum laude, 1973), the Bryn Mawr School of Social Work (MSW, 2002), and the Gestalt Therapy Institute of Philadelphia. He is also trained in Imago Relationship Therapy and is a certified EMDR practitioner (Levels 1 and 2). Jeff is a co-author of Nonprofit Leadership & the Law (2d ed. 2000); a regular blogger at Tikkun Daily; and the author of a weekly blog, Radical Decency Reflections. Jeff can be reached at email@example.com.
Ross Schriftman was a devoted son. In addition to his love of family, Ross has been active in politics for more than 40 years. He ran for Pennsylvania State Representative in 1974, 1976 and 2004 and Montgomery County Controller in 1979. He has been an insurance agent since 1975 and specializes in Medicare and long-term care insurance. Professionally, he served as the Associate Chair for Long-Term Care for the National Association of Health Underwriters from 2001 to 2003 and Legislative Chair of the Pennsylvania Association of Health Underwriters from 1994 to 2003. Ross served as Regional President of the National Federation of Temple Brotherhoods in the 1980s. He has run marathons since 1970. Though Ross is a frequent speaker and writer on health care issues and public policy, My Million Dollar Mom is his first published book. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stefanie Levine Cohen studies and writes about birth, death, afterlife and the human condition. Her stories explore moments of transition in characters’ lives and focus particularly on the intersection between the psychological and the spiritual. How does a person reconcile the need to understand his or her place in the universe with the tug of that person’s emotional truth? Themes of parenting, aging, loss and self-discovery recur throughout her stories and resonate with readers at many stages of life.
Stefanie works as a volunteer for Samaritan Hospice in Marlton, NJ, where she serves as a friendly visitor and vigil team member. She teaches memoir and fiction writing, and serves on the Boards of Moorestown Friends School in Moorestown, NJ, Meditation4Leadership, and Congregation M’kor Shalom in Cherry Hill, where she is a past president. Stefanie is a long-time member of the Rittenhouse Writers Group in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, founded and facilitated by James Rahn. She has also attended the Taos Summer Writers’ Conference and numerous workshops, studying with teachers including Jonis Agee, Sylvia Boorstein, Joan Borysenko, Deepak Chopra, Stephen Cope, Gordon Dveirin, John Perkins, Rabbi Rami Shapiro and James Van Praague.
Stefanie received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English from the University of Pennsylvania and her JD from the New York University School of Law. Her work has been published numerous literary journals and can be found on her website at stefanielevinecohen.com.