Meet your New AJA President, Hannah Bernstein

My name is Hannah Bernstein. For those of you who don’t know me yet, I am a mother, wife, sister, aunt, great aunt, and most recently, a grandmother. I retired five years ago after working full-time for 41 years in communications. I am also a dedicated Israeli dancer as the “overlappers” between AJA 50+ and Israeli dance will attest.

Because along came COVID, and, of course, everything changed. We have been dogged by this crazy pandemic, unbelievably, for close to two years. We have not had an indoor, in-person program since early March 2020. And given the current uncertainty that Omicron has brought, any possible get together is not on the table at the moment.

I found my way to AJA 50+ more than five years ago via the Online Development Committee which oversaw the very successful migration from our paper-based world to a digital platform. And looking back, who could have imagined how well timed that move would turn out to be?

The good news is that thanks to some very knowledgeable and forward-thinking individuals, we were able to embrace Zoom with a vengeance. How many programs have we offered since March 2020? You’ll have to read to the end to find out.
I have also found satisfaction and joy volunteering in-person for Creative Connections prior to the shutdown. When possible, I have attended the Tuesday morning Zoom sessions where the lively, interactive programs have proved a boon to that very keen group of folks. Thank you to Executive Director Sheila Osterer for all her efforts on their behalf and everyone else’s as well.

I come to the presidency of AJA 50+ as a relative newbie. I have been enthusiastically encouraged and mentored by my predecessor, Gail Krochmalnek. She has tirelessly led us through these past two-and-a-half years with a calm and steady hand at the helm. We could not have been better served. Thank you, Gail.

AJA 50+ is all about people. From the longest-serving volunteers to the newest recruits, you all have thoughts and ideas about how our organization can better serve you. My inbox is always open! I know you will share your opinions and suggestions for how we can improve things, and hopefully an occasional word about what we are doing well. Please drop me a line and we can always arrange to chat.

Until we can safely meet in person, I’ll see you on Zoom. Oh yes, and the answer is 300!