Shabbat candle lighting: 6:30pm

Meet Sherri Zaslow: LifeBridge Health Living Well at the Weinberg Park Heights J

Meet Sherri Zaslow
Community Wellness Coordinator

LifeBridge Health Living Well
at the Weinberg Park Heights J

We are excited to welcome Sherri Zaslow. As the new Community Wellness Coordinator for LifeBridge Health at the Weinberg Park Heights JCC, Sherri will be coordinating health and wellness programs and services for the Park Heights community. Her office will be adjacent to the new, soon-to-be-open Sinai Wellness and Education Suite, which will be dedicated to wellness educational programming. 

Q. Why did LifeBridge Health want to add programming focused on the Park Heights community? 

The needs of the Park Heights community are unique and a survey conducted by LifeBridge Health showed a high interest in programming reflecting that. LifeBridge Health already had a wonderful partnership with the JCC but with Sinai hospital so close by, LifeBridge Health is especially dedicated to being sensitive to our community’s needs and felt a new full-time focus would be so beneficial to families. 

Q. When did you start your role at the JCC and what have you been doing since that time?

I officially started in the summer. I have started setting up my office at the JCC and can’t wait until I can actually meet people there – my candy jar is already filled! While working from home, I’ve been creating virtual content with Robyn Talesnik, Community Wellness Manager, and Rachel Roemer, who is also a Community Wellness Coordinator. That’s our primary goal now and it’s been nonstop! We created a new virtual health series called “Be Strong. Live Well. Care Bravely.” and presented a full-day virtual health fair in September. 

We now feature weekly informative sessions with LifeBridge Health professionals and our partners, dedicated to well-being. From a running clinic to current info on flu 2020, eye health, falls prevention, IBS, heart health, Parkinson’s and so much more, we are covering a huge variety of topics. 

Before the high holidays, we partnered with The Associated and the JCC for a Healthy Holidays Meals session with LifeBridge Health dietitians and I’m now planning a special one as part of our Diabetes Support to help with healthy navigating of Passover and Shabbat! 

I am also excited to be presenting a workshop on Observant Jewish Cultural Sensitivity Training for one of our LifeBridge Health partners to better service the Park Height community. And finally, we are planning dynamic programs for our new Sinai Wellness and Education Suite that will be opening at the Weinberg Park Heights JCC! 

Q. We understand you have a background in community education. Can you tell us more about that and how you think it will help you in this new role? 

Looking back on my professional trajectory in the Jewish community with teaching, special education programs, educational administration, directing senior health outreach and care and creating my own business in senior planning, combined with my spare-time activities of speaking for Jewish groups, volunteering on community boards and helping with community events, it’s easy to see how it all led to this amazing opportunity. My personal skillset, knowledge and passions come together so beautifully in my role as Community Outreach Coordinator for the Park Heights Community.  

Q. As an Orthodox Jewish woman, how do you feel your background helps you in your new role?  

 Being an “insider” with “outside” experience helps me to offer programs for the Park Heights JCC community which will be of special interest and sensitive to Orthodox customs and lifestyle. I also understand the wide range of nuances within the Orthodox community itself which can seem confusing. I have my eye on more support for all of our new mommies, especially since we are especially blessed with many large families. I’ve already consulted with local Rabbis about some programs I am planning for men’s health….with their stamp of approval, it is an extra push! 

Q. Can you tell us more about the new Sinai Wellness and Education Suite? When will it open and what kind of services and activities can people expect in the future? 

I am most excited about this beautiful, state-of-the-art, bright modern space which is almost finished. It’s a perfect space for so many wellness programs, support groups, health screenings and small events. I can even imagine reflexology or acupuncture there as well – maybe massage therapy – I have dreams! When will it open? As soon as we get the word it’s safe to get together, we will schedule a wonderful grand opening. I brought Mezzuzot back from Israel last spring, for the entrances, and can’t wait to see them on the doorposts there! 

Q. Since you cannot do in-person programming now, what kind of virtual programming are you planning for the coming months for the PH community? 

 As part of our LifeBridge Health virtual health series, which features weekly topics of interest to everyone, there is a session on de-stressing skills with a social worker from Jewish Community Services. A session on supporting the special challenges of diabetes while dealing with Passover and Shabbat meals is being scheduled for March. I have also been working on a support group for new mommies which will feature a variety of topics and a more individualized approach for the Orthodox mother. Men’s health is an especially challenging area in the Orthodox community for a variety of reasons—I am planning a virtual men’s health fair this spring interlaced with Jewish health topics for men and the people who love them! I am also looking forward to requests from the community.

Q. Your role also includes connecting the community to LBH professionals. Can you explain how that works?

In the future, people can stop by my office at the JCC to discuss a health and wellness topic about which they may need further information or get information about someone with whom to consult. I can recommend professionals from LifeBridge Health who may be most helpful, and many times even reach out beforehand to help pave the way. When our new Sinai Wellness and Education Suite is open, we will feature programs and health screenings, which is a great opportunity to personally meet LifeBridge professionals. Currently, I am helping connect people through our virtual series, at  https://www.lifebridgehealth.org/Main/VirtualHealth.aspx..

Each session features a LifeBridge Health professional and afterward contact information is shared if someone wants to learn more or make an appointment. Also, I am active in social media so when someone in one of my local Jewish groups is looking for health referrals in a specific area, I reach out to them with contact information for a LifeBridge Health professional and I can also be helpful in setting up an appointment. If I don’t know who is best, I make it my business to explore and find out! Some JCC members have also called me directly to get information or recommendations. 

Q. What excites you most about what LifeBridge health is doing here in Park Heights?

Just exactly THAT – LifeBridge Health IS DOING right here in Park Heights and I have the merit to help bring that vision to fruition!