98-year-old Trudy Berlin began hosting “The Ladies Room” at the JCC’s Sandler Center in 2000. For this group of women, generally ages 70 and above, no topic is off the table and any given conversation may range from thoughts on grief to politics and beyond. Each week Berlin comes up with a theme for the show, and then the conversation moves in whatever direction the woman care to take it. Participants have dubbed Berlin “ the Jewish Oprah” and feel that Berlin challenges them and that “her energy is absolutely unbelievable. She brings out thoughts that you never thought you would ever express.” Berlin notes “as you grow older, I think that the world can become very difficult for old people and they give up, ” and this is what she wanted to address, and did not want this hampered by COVID. When the coronavirus pandemic shut down the Levis Jewish Community Center last year, she predictably sprang into action to keep the group going. So with a little help from Stephanie Owitz, the Boca Raton, Florida, center’s director of arts, culture and learning, the show went virtual and it has been going strong with participants throughout the US and Canada since.
Learn more about Berlin and her group at APNews.com.