Prior to living in New Jersey we took pride in the fact that our friends in Montreal came from many different walks of life. Upon visiting a doctor—as a precautionary measure, for genetic counseling—we liked him so much that we invited him to our house with his wife for coffee. We were 25 at the time and he was 40. In all of our many years of living in Montreal, a person’s age never entered into the calculations of whether or not we could be friendly with them. We prided ourselves on the fact that our friends were from such a diverse group of people. We did not choose to be their friends depending upon their level of Jewish observance, and the fact that someone was either older or younger than us also never entered the equation. Over the years, as we aged, we often had “young marrieds” over. We learned a lot from them and I would hope that they learned from us as well.
It is difficult enough to make friends when you move into a new community, but it often surprises us that here age is frequently taken into consideration. Someone recently mentioned to Nina that she really wanted to participate in the Shop ‘Til You Drop trip which Nina organized in February, but the lady explained that her husband had told her that “for sure it was going to be for older people.” With all due respect to this community, it is possible to joke around with, learn from and share happy and sad moments with those who are not the identical age to you.
When I mentioned that we were having guests for a Yom Tov meal, the question I was asked was “Are they your age?” Interestingly, Hillary Clinton is 68, Donald Trump is 70 and Bernie Sanders is 74. All kidding aside as to why one would not necessarily choose to have one of these three candidates as a guest in their home, other than they might not like some of their behaviors, we are sure that if they were to call anyone who lives on Churchill (just choosing a street randomly) and ask if one of the candidates would be able to come and visit, you can be sure that they will not be turned away because of their ages.
Very recently, quite by accident, we had the good fortune of meeting some families that are also “new in the neighborhood.” It amazed us how much their challenges and concerns about making new friends and meeting people mimicked our feelings. It is not easy after living in one place for an extended period of time to suddenly pick up and move to a new community. We’ve been saying that for a long time and now we find out that we are not alone in that sentiment. As a result of these sentiments we have decided to start a “New In The Neighborhood” group that is open to anyone who has moved to this area, as long as they lived at least 100 miles away from here. That practically means that anyone from the New York Metropolitan area would not be included. The reason primarily is because those who are from around this area are still using their familiar doctors, banks, know about the kosher products available to them and do not have to hunt for this information. The group of newcomers will be having its first get-together shortly. Please do not hesitate to be in touch if you meet the membership requirements. By the way, anyone of any age group is welcome. We do not discriminate! Contact [email protected] for any further information.
By Rabbi Mordechai and Nina Glick