Educational Alliance’s Manny Cantor Center Presents

MLK Day of Service 2021: A Program of MCC’s Changemakers

Combating Social Isolation Among Older Adults 
January 18, 2020 | 10am-12PM
This is a virtual event. 
View Zoom Recording from Event Here!
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Download NYAM Presentation Here
Download Older Adult Presentation Here
Download Service Project Instructions Here

Join us on MLK Day for this virtual event to learn more and get the tools to help combat social isolation among older adults. We will hear from experts in the field of aging, along with older adults themselves, who are working to challenge assumptions and provide support on this issue, which has been exasperated by the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Following the learning, volunteers will have the opportunity to participate in two service projects from home: making homemade greeting cards to go to seniors, and a call to action to connect with your local representatives to better support seniors through policy initiatives. 

Our speakers include representatives from New York Academy of Medicine, United Neighborhood Houses, MCC’s Senior Advocacy Leadership Team, and Educational Alliance’s Co-op Village NORC. 

Note: This event will be completely virtual. We will provide a Zoom link to participate, as well as instructions and ideas for materials to gather for our service project.    

Our MLK Day of Service is sponsored by UJA Federation of New York, which is bringing together organizations and volunteers all throughout the city to empower our communities in meaningful ways. 

Presenter Information

Elana Kieffer 
Acting Director, NYAM Center for Healthy Aging 

Elana Kieffer is the Acting Director for The New York Academy of Medicine’s Center for Healthy Aging. She has nearly 15 years of experience working in a wide range of older adult services, with a focus on project management, program development, and sales and marketing. Prior to her time at the Academy, Elana worked at The New Jewish Home and at MJHS Hospice and Palliative Care. She also worked in affordable and market-rate senior housing for two Boston-based organizations, The Community Builders and Hebrew SeniorLife. Elana has an MBA in nonprofit management with a concentration in aging services from the Heller School at Brandeis University. 

About NYAM 

The New York Academy of Medicine (NYAM) tackles the barriers that prevent every individual from living a healthy life. NYAM generates the knowledge needed to change the systems that prevent people from accessing what they need to be healthy such as safe and affordable housing, healthy food, healthcare and more. Through its high-profile programming for the general public, focused symposia for health professionals, and its base of dedicated Fellows and Members, NYAM engages the minds and hearts of those who also value advancing health equity to maximize health for all. 


Terry Kaelber 
Director, Institute for Empowered Aging at United Neighborhood Houses of New York 

Terry Kaelber is currently the Director of The Institute for Empowered Aging at United Neighborhood Houses of New York [UNH]. Previously at UNH, Terry directed New York’s participation in a six-year national initiative to demonstrate the impact older people can have to drive change and strengthen their communities. Working in partnership with NYC’s Department for the Aging, Terry extended this approach to aging into New York City Senior Centers through the practice of self-directed project teams of older people who are empowered to launch community service projects that address local needs and meet community challenges. Under Terry’s leadership, this work has continued to expand and now reaches 24 communities throughout New York City, mobilizing older people to create new urban farms, address poor mail delivery in public housing, launch new afterschool programming for area youth, and organize community advocacy efforts that build communities in which all ages can successfully live and age. 

Prior to working at UNH, Terry was the Executive Director of SAGE – Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders; a delegate at the 2005 White House Conference on Aging; a recipient of the SHARE Award for Innovations in Aging from the University of Pennsylvania; and Director of the Neighborhood Ownership Works Program for the City of New York. Terry has presented widely on aging issues throughout the U.S. and in Europe, and holds a MPA degree from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University. 

Jose Antonio Ortiz-Rivera

Born into a military family, he was instilled with a sense of service from a very early age. However, also as a military family, there was not a real sense of continued community because of frequent reassignments. He really began to appreciate that sense of community after marrying a girl from the Lower East Side. Contributing to that sense of community, and especially in his retirement years, the Educational Alliance, and particularly Manny Cantor Center, has afforded him a sense of purpose and the social environment by which to continue trying to make a difference. The work with the Senior Advocacy Leadership Team (SALT) has provided that platform and guidance by which to realize efforts as well as companionship with likeminded persons.

About SALT

Manny Cantor Center’s SALT is a self-directed volunteer civic-advocacy group of seniors from MCC. SALT is working to make the LES an age-friendly community and support the needs and voices of older adults. Community members of all ages are welcome to join!


Christine Dey

As the Director of the Weinberg Center for Balanced Living, Christine Dey brings over 15 years experience in the field of social work serving diverse communities in need. Prior to working at the Manny Cantor Center, Christine was the Director of Social Services at Hudson Guild, a multi-service organization located in Chelsea. Originally from Toronto, Canada, Christine holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the Silberman School of Social Work and Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from York University, Toronto. In her spare time, you’ll find Christine engaged in some form of creating art.

About WCBL @ MCC

Weinberg Center for Balanced Living (WCBL) is known on the Lower East Side as the “young” senior center. Over 70% of our members are recent retirees, and our offerings reflect the diverse interests of Baby Boomers. Group exercise, arts & education, advocacy & social events. Case workers are also available to answer questions about Medicare, Social Security, housing, and other issues.