ISO: Jewish Singles Over 60

With the help of a microGRANT from the Jewish Federation of Ottawa, and the Soloway JCC, Janice Pleet and Jan Jones are solving a gap in Jewish Ottawa’s programmatic offerings by launching Ottawa Jewish Singles 60+.

According to the National Institute on Aging, “Estimates suggest that 12 percent of Canadians aged 65 years and older feel socially isolated and 24 percent report low social participation. Similarly, about 25 percent of older women and 20 percent of older men report feeling lonely at least some of the time. Other estimates in the Canadian population have ranged from 20 percent to as high as 80 percent.” 

For Pleet and Jones, they knew that they wanted to meet other Jewish singles for friendships, activities, and companionship and they thought others would be interested as well. 

It all started while they were both visiting their mothers at Hillel Lodge about six or seven years ago. From that initial meeting a friendship blossomed. During an Aquafit class at the SJCC, they agreed that they wanted to meet other active Jewish singles and organize events, hikes, lunches, and other social opportunities. They noticed that there is an abundance of programming for children, teens, and young adults, but they felt left out as singles past retirement age, with time and a desire to be busy and social. Other older adult programs are open to singles and couples, and this can be uncomfortable for some singles. 

Once they had formulated a plan and purpose, they worked with Sue Potechin at the Soloway JCC to help write the microGRANT, secure a space for the first event, and take registrations. Their first event is going to be like an afternoon tea with schmoozing, activities, brainstorming for future events, and of course, sandwiches and tea. 

Following the initial event, they hope to have ongoing meet-up opportunities where singles can connect for friendship and companionship. Event ideas include hikes, dog walking outings, horseback riding, movies, dinners, or other ideas. Jones was clear that this is “not meant to be a dating site. It's just strictly social, but if matches happen, that’s great.”

Pleet continues, “When I meet people, often they ask, ‘is there anything happening in terms of the Jewish singles world?’ And the answer is unfortunately no. Sue [Potechin] reported that people have been approaching her and asking her the same question.  The community has been clear that they are not necessarily looking for a partner, but friendship. It’s uncomfortable to be a third wheel with a couple and we want to do things with other singles.”

The opening event is on April 7, 2024, from 1 to 3 pm at the Soloway JCC. All Jewish singles over the age of 60 who live in or around Ottawa are welcome. Preregistration is required. Tickets are $10 in advance only. There will not be ticket sales at the door.

To register, visit the SJCC website. For more information, email Jan Jones.