Distributed to Village members and to others who have expressed an interest.

The Ashby Village Member Digest, published between newsletters, is not available to the public.


In This Issue
Upcoming Events
Word on the Street
Volunteers & Vendors
New Members

Contact Us

2330 Durant Ave
Berkeley, CA 94704

(510) 204-9200

On the Web


 April 2011 

Safe at Home 


For those of us planning to age in place, a safe, convenient and accessible home is the essential starting point, so Ashby Village has scheduled its first home safety and accessibility seminar.   


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that more than 300,000 people were hospitalized in the United States for hip fractures in one recent year. About a quarterSmoke alarms of the people who break their hips wind up in a nursing home for up to a year.


Ashby Village's new Home Safety and Accessibility Program is designed to help each of us improve our environment.  There are several simple steps we can take:

  • Attend the first Ashby Village home safety and accessibility seminar on April 20 (details below).
  • Pick up up-to-date smoke detectors at the seminar. Getting smoke detectors that meet current standards is the single most effective action we can take to save lives.
  • Use our home-assessment checklist to start to systematically eliminate needless home accident hazards.  Reducing falls at home by 50 percent would prevent thousands of deaths and injuries among seniors every year.
  • Receive volunteer training to conduct free home safety assessments for your fellow Villagers.
  • Get a one-hour home assessment from our volunteers (more information soon). 
  • Implement your plan to eliminate identified hazards and improve home convenience.  
  • Tell us what home services you would like Ashby Village to promote.

With more security at home, each of us can have the piece of mind to enjoy the Village's community activities.

-- Walter Park



Our Accomplished New Board Members


Marcia Freedman and Marj Wolf were elected to the Ashby Village Board of Directors at the April 13 meeting of the Board.


Marcia moved to Israel in 1967 to teach philosophy at Haifa University, where she was elected to the Knesset and served from 1973 to 1977. Resettling in the Bay Area in 1981, she helped to found the Women's Computer Literacy Project and to establish the Lesbian and Gay Aging Issues Network within the American Society on Aging. She has served as president of the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival and Brit Tzedek v'Shalom, the Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace, and she was on the National Advisory Board of J Street. The author of Exile in the Promised Land, Marcia is at work on another book.


Marj spent most of her career in healthcare management, including stints with USAID in Eastern Europe. She has guided organizations during times of change, including the Judah L Magnes Museum, the Sierra Pacific Veterans Integrated Service Network and the George Mark Children's House. Marj filled leadership roles with both Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and Health Plan and Contra Costa County's Health Services and Social Services Departments. She has been president of the Board of both the Jewish Federation of the East Bay and Operation Dignity, an organization providing assistance and housing to homeless veterans. Marj has been a weaver since high school, and since retiring, she has traveled to more than a dozen countries.


We are proud to have these two able and accomplished women on our board. 

-- Pat Sussman, Board Chair




Activities sponsored by Ashby Village

SUNDAY, APRIL 10, 2:00-4:00 p.m. 


Building on the success of our first forum last August and our holiday party, we are inviting all members to join us at our spring forum this weekend. It's a wonderful opportunity to learn about what we've accomplished during our first year; to make new connections; and to help shape the way our Village grows.
  • Northbrae Community Church, 941 The Alameda, Berkeley.  There is a parking lot in the rear of the building, and street parking is available.
  • Wheelchair-accessible 
  • Open to members only
  • Register here, or call our office at (510) 204-9200.
  • Please let us know if you need a ride.

FRIDAY, APRIL 15, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.  


Botanical GardenJoin other Villagers for a private docent tour of the UC Botanical Garden. We will explore the Garden's incredible diversity of plants from six continents, including environments as diverse as deserts, tropical forests, redwood forests and wetlands. Each tour is a unique experience focused on plants at their seasonal best.
Meet at the UC Botanical Garden entrance on Centennial Drive.
  • Open to members and up to two guests
  • RSVP here, or call our office at (510) 204-9200.
  • $10 for members and $15 for nonmembers
  • Please let us know if you need a ride.

HomeSafetyWEDNESDAY, APRIL 20 2:00-4:00 p.m.    


Come and learn from the experts how to make your home safer. Invited speakers include experts on fire safety, contracting and electrical safety and accessibility. Among the issues to be discussed are fire prevention, fall prevention, electrical safety, safe and easy travel patterns and usability of appliances and furniture. We are allowing plenty of time for questions and answers and small-group discussion. A printed home safety packet will be distributed. The seminar will kick off Ashby
Village's new Home Safety Assessment Program.
  • Ashby Village office, 2330 Durant Ave., Berkeley 
  • Wheelchair-accessible
  • Open to all -- free for Ashby Village members, $25 for others
  • RSVP here, or call our office at (510) 204-9200.
  • Please let us know if you need a ride.

WEDNESDAY, MAY 11, 3:00-5:00 p.m.    

AT HOME WITH GROWING OLD: Universal design re-imagined

Susi Stadler (MBA, MA in Architecture) will lead a presentation on the role of home changes as we get older. She will discuss adaptations we can make to our homes to accommodate physical and emotional changes as we age. We will look at how challenges can be turned into opportunities to make you be "at home with growing old." 
  • Jewish Family and Children's Services, Suse Moyal Center for Older Adults, 2484 Shattuck Ave. (corner of Dwight Way). Street parking available in front for 90 minutes (there will be a break to move cars) or on Blake Street for two hours.
  • Wheelchair-accessible
  • Open to members and up to two guests
  • RSVP here, or call our office at (510) 204-9200.
  • Please let us know if you need a ride. 

, 5:00-7:00 p.m.

:  Food, Wine and Words
  • The home of Thelma Peck, 840 Washington Ave., Albany
  • Wheelchair-accessible  
  • RSVP here, or call our office at (510) 204-9200. Please tell us what dish you will bring.
  • Let us know if you need a ride.
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THE REAL SOCIAL NETWORK:  A radically new ideal of aging

"In its own quiet way, the village movement represents a radical rejection of the postwar American ideal of aging, in which retirees discard homes and careers for lives of leisure amid people their own age." That's how AARP The Magazine describes the historical significance of Villages in its May/June issue. The story is available online:  Click here.


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Village needs and opportunities


Office Manager

From the time we open our doors in the morning, the Ashby Village office is a  flurry of activity: members calling in with service requests, committee meetings, volunteers engaged in a variety of administrative and program tasks. We are seeking an experienced office manager to help manage our operations. If you have such experience and are willing to volunteer at least 15 hours each week, please email Andy Gaines at, or call the office. 


Events Committee

We need enthusiastic member-volunteers to help plan and organize events. Areas in which the committee needs assistance are arranging our bimonthly potlucks, finding appropriate speakers on topics relevant to our community and arranging cultural events. This is an energetic and convivial committee that meets once a month. Please contact Barbi Jo Stim at or (510) 847-0298.


Publication Assistance 

We are still beating the bushes for experienced writers and editors to work on our Monthly Newsletter and Member Digest. It would also be helpful to have someone assisting who is familiar with Constant Contact or other web-writing software (similar in some respects to blogging software). Please email


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SERVICE SNAPSHOT:  Milk and Cheese, Please

A member who has had both hips replaced has difficulty carrying heavy items. She also found it necessary to give up driving and sold her car, leaving her virtually stranded for long periods of time, unable even to go grocery shopping. Fortunately she thought to call Ashby Village. During the past couple of months, she has called two or three times to request assistance and reports that she's been pleased with the helpfulness and attitude of our volunteers. The member provides a list, and an hour or so later the volunteer returns with her groceries.


Mark Goldman on the beach

Mark Goldman is one of our newest and most active volunteers. When asked what has been the most satisfying aspect of this, his first volunteer experience, he mentions how much he's enjoyed meeting members and getting the opportunity to become acquainted with people in the community whom he probably would never have meet except for their shared connection to Ashby Village. He's been particularly gratified to hear from the members he has helped how much his assistance has been appreciated.


He first heard about Ashby Village from one of his neighbors, Gloria Bayne, who is a Village member. So far, Mark has helped a member with her iPhone, replaced a thermostat, changed bulbs, gone grocery shopping, helped with a Mac computer and sealed openings in a member's home that rodents used for regular visits.


When Mark is not volunteering or working as an internet design strategist for web design firms, he can be found cycling enthusiastically through the Berkeley hills.


WEDNESDAYS, April 27, May 4 and May 18, 1:30-3:30 p.m


Among our newer services are consultations during Drop-In Hours with members of the Social Services Subcommittee, which is composed of social workers, psychologists and counselors. If you are dealing with the care of a loved one, are concerned about a change in your own health or are facing any other new challenge, they're here to help.


Please call the office to make an appointment, or you can call subcommittee Chair Roberta Pressman directly at (617) 319-9801.


SATURDAY, MAY 14, 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.


Volunteers are needed to assist Ashby Village and its members in a wide assortment of tasks. Volunteers support members through transportation, home handiwork, assistance at medical appointments, home safety assessment and more. Volunteers' operational assistance includes administrative and clerical tasks, communications and outreach. To learn more about becoming a volunteer, please contact our office.  

  • Ashby Village office, 2330 Durant Ave.
  • Wheelchair-accessible
  • If you would like to participate, please contact us immediately at (510) 204-9200 so we can begin the application process.

SATURDAY, MAY 21, 10:00 a.m.-noon  


This new program has been designed to assist Ashby Village members in securing medical advice and care and to help support them during the care. In this training, volunteers will receive specialized information about transport to and from medical appointmenets; note-taking during medical visits, to help members understand complex communictions with medical professionals; and assistance in scheduling follow-up appointments. Please contact Marion Anderson for more information.


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Retirements, book publications, art openings . . . 


RUSS ELLIS'S SCULPTURE EXHIBIT: Leaving Home -- Scenes of Emigration  

The sculptures of Ashby Village charter member Russ Ellis will be featured in a one-

person show at the Smith Andersen North gallery in San Anselmo from April 23 to

Russ sculpture

"Portal" by Russ Ellis

May 30. Russ, a retired UC academic and administrator and a dedicated community volunteer, began stone carving in the 1980s and then shifted to modeling clay,

bronze and other media in retirement.


At the university, Ellis was a sociologist in the Department of Architecture, specializing in the social aspects of architecture and urban design. He also  served as Assistant Dean of the College of Environmental Design and Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs.


Elaborating on the theme of this exhibit, "Leaving Home -- Scenes of Emigration," and on the constantly evolving shapes that intrigue him, Russ says,  "I wrestle with the restlessness of form.  Emigrant form is forever leaving home.  Form's only home is change.  Against the foil of familiar and constructed objects, of sculpture and painted wall work, [I wish] to excite in the viewer that sense of permanent movement through materials, weight, shape, color, relationship, time and distance that defines and vivifies the forms through our lives. "


This is his second show at the gallery, which is open Tuesdays through Fridays, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturdays from noon to 5 p.m. More information is available at the gallery's website .


LEON LITWACK'S LECTURE - Stormy Monday: The Legacy of the Civil Rights Movement

Surveying the condition and prospects of African Americans in "post-racial" America,

Leon Litwacka veteran of the Civil Rights Movement thought to ask in 2005, "Is this what we fought for? Is this what the Civil Rights Movement struggled to achieve -- a society where many black Americans are as trapped and isolated by their poverty as they were by legal segregation laws?"


Since 1964, new Ashby Village member Leon F. Litwack has taught at the University of California, Berkeley, where he was the Alexander F. and May T. Morrison Professor of History until his retirement in 2007. He has been the recipient of three Distinguished Teaching Awards at Berkeley, is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has consulted on numerous historical films. 

  • Wednesday, April 20, 3:30-5:00 pm 
  • Freight and Salvage, 2020 Addison St., Berkeley
  • $10 general admission and $5 if accompanied by an OLLI member, free for OLLI  members with ID
  • Reserve a place  

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Brigitte Beinhoff  and Tim Hannon
Derrell Chambers and Lorraine Hilary
Myown Hymer
Patricia Klahn
Dorcas Kowalski
Leon and Rhoda Litwack
Sheila and Cameron Malcolm
Elizabeth (Bette) Peters


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Committee Chairs


MEMBERSHIP:  Betty Webster, 


                                                                             Barbi Jo Stim, 

SERVICES:  Joann Sullivan,  

                       Judy Boe,

                       Shirley Haberfeld, 


REVENUE ENHANCEMENT:  Andra Lichtenstein, 















CHAIR:  Patricia Sussman, 

VICE CHAIR:  Shirley Haberfeld, 


Bob Davis,  

Marcia Freedman, 

Laura Peck, 

Jane Selby, 

Barbi Jo Stim, 

Betty Webster,  

Marj Wolf,  

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