Communications Project with Cal State LA
One Villager's Story
Pasadena Area Literary Arts Center
Pasadena Village Responds to Rainbow Flag Burning at Pasadena Buddhist Temple
Plan Ahead - And Be Prepared
Tuesday, May 23 Pasadena Celebrated Older Americans
Rumor of Humor #15
Reparations, Social Justice Activity
Rumor of Humor #14
Rumor of Humor #13
Science Monday - Review of Meeting on April 10, 2023
Conversations Re African American Artists Before 1920
Beyond the Village – Suzi and Phil Hoge
Congratulations Wayne April! Honored at UNH
Volunteer Appreciation at the Village
“ACCIDENTAL HOST—The Story of Rat Lungworm Disease”
Pasadenans Recent Experience With Racism
Recent Events Reflecting Racism
Fig and Goat Cheese Bruschetta
Photography for Social Justice
BEYOND THE VILLAGE - Catherine Deely
Creative Writing in Older Adults
Gifts of Love
Great Decisions update
Dominion Lawsuit, South Africa and 710 Stub
2023 DEI Progress
BEYOND THE VILLAGE - Doug Colliflower
CONVERSATIONS WITH ART
OLDER ADULTS RESOURCE FAIR
The Important, Influential Books in our Lives - Revisited
History, Resolution of the 710 Freeway
Eminent Domain, 710 Highway
Bernard Garrett, 710 Freeway
Men's Times Gatherings
Pasadena's Senior Commission
BEYOND THE VILLAGE - JIM HENDRICK
GRATITUDE - IT'S GOOD FOR YOU!
JEFF GUTSTADT - FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST
Bernard Garrett, Incredible Black Entrepreneur
What is the "Spirit Talk" Group About?
Same Ol’ New Year, Brand New Me
Review of 2022, Consideration of 2023
BEYOND THE VILLAGE - PATTI LA MARR
FROM THE CHAIR
WALK WITH EASE
Claire Gorfinkel - Beyond the VillageBy Blog Master
BEYOND THE VILLAGE
Claire Gorfinkel describes herself as a “social change activist.” She traces her activism back to 1969 when she joined the anti-war movement, and the staff of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC). In 1988 she became a fundraiser to promote the AFSC’s work for social justice.
She retired from the AFSC in 2001 and plunged into the interfaith peace and justice community in Los Angeles, participating in countless marches, demonstrations and other actions. But, starting in 2005 she wrestled with trying to discern the next phase of her life journey. She decided to go to seminary to “fill in the crevasses in my Jewish education.” She pursued a three-year Chaplaincy program at the Academy for Jewish Religion, during which time she recognized that she was intensely interested in issues of aging, death and dying.
At the conclusion of her studies, she became the Chaplain of the Pasadena Jewish Temple and Center, a role she continues to fill. “I love being available to people during both joyful and challenging times in their lives – including times of illness and death. Being present for people at difficult times is not depressing to me. It is very powerful, rewarding and uplifting.”
A recent example of her role at the Temple entailed coordinating delivery of complete Passover meals to people who were isolated during the holiday. “It was delightful to reach out to people and hear how happy they were to be thought of and included in the celebration.”
Claire’s other passion revolves around being outdoors, especially in and around Yosemite National Park. She traces her love of nature to childhood summers in the Sierras. For the past ten years Claire has volunteered with the Yosemite Conservancy as part of work crews that perform trail maintenance and habitat restoration in the park. She has enjoyed being able to explore different parts of the park and being part of a working community. “It is a way to give back to the National Park in appreciation for the enjoyment I have received.”
When the Pasadena Village was first being organized in 2012, Claire was making plans to move to a retirement community in Santa Rosa. The Village was her “back-up plan.” When the move fell through, she gratefully joined the Village. She thought “I don’t need any more friends …” but now she acknowledges that friends from the Village have been absolutely essential to maintaining her mental health during the pandemic.
Claire is very involved in Village life. In addition to being a Board member, she is chair of the Services Assessment Team (SAT) which pays extra attention to our frailest members. And she is a faithful member of the Hiking group, the Walking group, and the Altadena Foothills neighborhood group.
Clearly Claire can still be described as a social change activist who is using her life experiences to advocate for ways to redefine aging and ensure that older adults are equipped to make the most of the later years. She is an example of someone who is making a difference beyond the Village.