Tag Archives: foster city

Joshua’s Summer of Growth

by on April 25, 2015

Joshua and his counselor

Joshua and his Camp Keff counselor at PJCC

by Diana Blank Epstein

Approaching the entrance of the PJCC, visitors are greeted with our guiding principles etched upon the pillars. One of these is Hachnasat Or’chim, which means “welcoming all” in Hebrew. I experienced this inclusivity up close when my husband and I registered our young son, who has special needs, for his very first “TYPICAL” camp experience—an experience that ended up exceeding all expectations.

Our family has enjoyed a long history with the PJCC. As young boys, my husband David and his brother attended camp when the PJCC was located in Belmont, and our daughter, Rachel, now 9, is a preschool graduate. That’s why this past summer my husband and I were overjoyed to witness Rachel and her 6-year old brother, Joshua, create their own positive memories at Camp Keff. Our son has autism and, like many children with ASD (autism spectrum disorder), he is constantly working on developing his language, fine motor and social skills with a variety of competing sensory needs.

When I first approached Camp Keff Director Ian Israel and mentioned our interest in camp, he encouraged us to register and extended the invitation to other special needs families as well. His welcoming approach and supportive attitude put our minds at ease since we wanted to do everything possible to ensure that Joshua had a safe, fun, and positive camp experience. Before camp started, two meetings were held to address Joshua’s needs. The first meeting included Joshua’s case manager from his Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) agency, Gateway. This is the agency responsible for providing Joshua with a one-to-one aide at all times during camp. Without this support, Joshua wouldn’t be able to attend camp since he sometimes runs off or engages in unsafe climbing. Gateway and Camp Keff developed a terrific team approach that was critical in helping day-to-day logistics run smoothly for Joshua and all staff involved.

The second meeting included David Neufeld, PhD, Director of Special Needs at Jewish Learning Works, Joshua’s assigned Camp Keff counselors, and Jenalyn Villanueva, the Kindercamp head unit. We discussed additional arrangements for making the camp process run as smoothly as possible.

Throughout the summer, Ian and his staff constantly reassured us that Joshua’s camp experience would be awesome and whatever came up, they would handle it. “We’ll go with the flow” was Ian’s mantra. Trust me, those words are meaningful for parents who carry the additional stress of having a child where so many elements are unpredictable. Knowing that we were leaving our boy in a setting where he was cared for, wanted, and welcomed, was a special gift my husband and I will always be appreciative of. From swinging on ropes and running obstacle courses to climbing rock walls, learning to swim, and initiating interactions with peers and counselors, we watched Joshua flourish and thrive. Although he couldn’t communicate this in words, he knew that at Camp Keff he felt accepted and loved for who he is. Just recently, his special education teacher told us that Joshua’s speech, attention, and class participation have significantly improved compared to the last school year, and we attribute this to his camp experience.

This Inclusive community went out of their way to welcome Joshua and made him feel like any other child experiencing the joys of summer camp.

And, as the parents of this lovely boy, this was perhaps the greatest gift of all.

 

Your New Workout: Interval Training

by on April 23, 2015

interval training pjcc

by Torre Pusey, PJCC Personal Trainer

Ready to take your workout to the next level? Want to burn more calories, burn more fat, see faster results, and be constantly challenged? Consider Interval Training.
Often referred to as HIIT, High Intensity Interval Training has become a powerful tool for the everyday gym user. HIIT workouts evolve around a simple concept: alternating bursts of intense activity with intervals of lighter training, such as taking a brisk walk injected with quick jogs.
HIIT workouts can be done anywhere and at any time. It isn’t necessarily about the exercise, the equipment, or the location. Just like the name suggests, the intensity must be high to receive the benefit. In other words, you have to be willing to work harder than usual and get a bit uncomfortable, but the payoff is worth it.

Benefits of HIIT
The majority of HIIT workouts are less than 30 minutes and, if done three times a week, can produce amazing results. Additional benefits include:

  • Improved aerobic capacity
  • No need for special equipment
  • Increased metabolism
  • Lose weight, not muscle

Before trying any new exercise routine, remember that it’s always best to first check with your health care provider.

Your HIIT Workout
A Basic HIIT plan usually includes four levels with a rotation of heavy exercise and recovery (resting). HIIT workouts don’t have to be long and that feeling of “I can’t do any more!” usually lasts just a few seconds before you get to rest. Samples of HIIT exercises include jump rope, stationary bike, jumping jacks, sprinting, and Battle Ropes, and the levels are:

  • Light: exercise for 30 seconds, recovery for 90 seconds, repeat
  • Medium: exercise for 30 seconds, recovery for 60 seconds, Repeat
  • Heavy: exercise for 30 seconds, recovery 30 seconds, repeat
  • Extreme: exercise for 30 seconds, recovery for 15 seconds, repeat

Try each stage for two weeks. If the routine continues to be difficult, stretch it out a few days until you are ready to jump to the next level. Consequently, if you find a stage too easy, progress to the next level sooner or try a more challenging exercise.
For optimum results, work with a certified fitness professional to create a personalized HIIT training plan. HIIT requires effort and sweat, but stick with it and you’ll be rewarded with impressive results.

 

Breakthroughs In Molecular Imaging

by on March 5, 2015

The de la Zerda Group at the Stanford University School of Medicine is making strides in being able to idenify and characterize tumors in clinical settings. Adam de la Zerda
visited the PJCC to describe the revolutionary molecular imaging technique his team pioneered.

Adam was chosen as one of Forbes 30 Under 30 in Science in 2012 and 2014.

Functional Training: Taking Your Workouts To The Next Level

by on February 24, 2015

Chris-Nash-625

By Chris Nash, PJCC Personal Trainer

As a fitness professional for more than 15 years, I’ve witnessed many changes in the fitness industry. It used to be that gyms were limited to traditional equipment, such as bench and leg presses, that worked just one or two muscles at a time.

But in recent years, a growing trend is functional training. This is a classification of exercise that involves training the body for activities we perform on a daily basis; movements that require all your muscles to work together as they do in real life.

Does this sound strange? Perhaps, but Steve Jobs always said “Think different” and that’s what the fitness industry is doing. Traditional weights and machines have been around for decades and continue to serve an important purpose. However, with the introduction of functional training, you can now work several muscle groups at one time. Not only do you enjoy a well-rounded workout, but this form of exercise also keeps you from plateauing.

TRX is a good example of functional training. When it was first introduced to the public ten years ago, TRX had a profound effect on the fitness industry. TRX, which was developed for Navy Seal Training, involves using a set of straps as your anchor point and leveraging your own body weight as a form of resistance. TRX has been very well received and as a result, has opened doors to even more creative methods of training, such as Battle Ropes, Kettlebells, and other fitness tools, all offered at the PJCC.

As a trainer, functional training has changed me for the better. Not a day goes by that I don’t discover a new benefit from the different tools that I use. Better yet, my clients are getting stronger, experiencing effective workouts, and seeing results faster.

If you’d like to try out TRX, Battle Ropes, Kettlebells, etc., call the PJCC’s Fitness Desk at 650.378.2703 or check out the Fitness Schedule of ongoing classes.

The Case for Camp — Why Kids Need It Now More Than Ever

by on February 19, 2015

pjcc summer camp

By Peg L. Smith

Change is a part of life. It is often directly related to survival and can enrich one’s life in ways unexpected. Childhood is in essence a time of profound change and development. It is exciting and disquieting at the same time. When it comes to our children, we need to be sure that change is made for the better.

We’ve been so concentrated on the brain, we forget about the rest of our bodies. This change in focus has lead to an obesity rate that is unacceptable. Our kids are not as healthy as the Continue reading

Video: How We Think About Israel

by on February 13, 2015

Rabbi Dr. Donniel Hartman, of the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem, spoke at the PJCC recently. He gave us some wonderful insight into the thinking of both Israeli and American Jews. He provided us with a new way for the Jewish Community to think and talk about Israel. Get ready to be inspired!

Pink & Powerful

by on October 21, 2014

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Everyone is wearing pink to bring attention to a disease that will touch over 280,000 women per year in the US alone.  Odds are high that everyone knows at least one person effected by breast cancer. While fighting and beating cancer is  the main goal when one is diagnosed, there is a long road of rehabilitatation following surgery that is so important to regaining strength and mobility.

In the following video, we hear a few inspirational stories from women who have taken on breast cancer and come out the other side with more strength, courage, and lust for life than before.

The PJCC is doing its part on October 26, 2014 with our Pink Ribbon Day.
We invite the whole community to come and support a great cause.

RESOURCES

Pink Ribbon Program @ PJCC  - Postoperative workout designed to enhance recovery
Check Your Boobies – Dedicated to early detection and prevention

 

 

Amazing Things Happen When We Work Together

by on March 21, 2014

October 2013 was intense around here.  Well, at least for me; and certainly for our Artist-in-Residence, Jay Wolf Schlossberg-Cohen.

The Center was filled with excitement, anticipation and inspiration for me and the hundreds of you who participated in one of our 28 mural painting sessions.

Our community, under Jay’s guidance,  took 1,560 square feet and 8 planter tops of blankness and transformed them into a work of art. A work of art that communicates social justice themes such as Environmental Stewardship, Human Rights & Dignity, Economic Justice, and Food Justice.

Do you remember eating lunch outside by the J café and seeing the steady progression over 15 packed days?  Or perhaps coming back after an absence to notice the work fully realized?  I remember October, but this documentary by Chip Curry brought back vivid details by capturing the communal spirit and offering candid testimonials.  I’m delighted to share it with you.

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