A member of AAUW since the early 2000’s, Miriam initially joined in order to have more social and intellectual interactions with other Bay Area women. She has participated in Evening Books for many years and has also volunteered on behalf of AAUW in various ways over the years.
Now that Miriam has taken on this new responsibility as AAUW Fund VP, she will put her energy into working on behalf of expanding opportunities for girls and women, primarily by trying to raise funds from our membership on their behalf. Miriam is looking forward to the challenge and thanks you for the opportunity!
Miriam’s Background & Professional Accomplishments
Miriam was born in Sheboygan, Wisconsin and moved to Southern California at the early age of three. She grew up in LA, lived abroad in Israel for a year after college. She attended UC Berkeley and graduated during the turbulent 60’s. Miriam made Berkeley my home (in between travels) and acquired a teaching credential from San Francisco State University.
After teaching English at Logan High School in Union City for ten years, she decided to make a career switch and received an MPH (Masters in Public Health) from San Jose State University, with a major in health community education and gerontology. From that time on, Miriam has worked on behalf of older adults, first as a program director with well seniors (where she had great fun taking seniors on day and overnight trips) and then as an executive director of two nonprofit agencies working on behalf of frail elders.
In 1995, Miriam began working for Alameda County, first on a project called Hope for Elderly Independence, a HUD demonstration grant that provided 200 Section 8 vouchers for frail elders, along with funding for services to help enhance their independence, so they could continue to live independently and not have to incur the considerable cost in dollars and quality of life that happens due to premature nursing home placement (Oh how we could use programs like that today!). When grant funds ran out, Miriam took work in other Alameda County Departments, i.e. Social Services, Public Health and Emergency Health Care Services. In the last four years before she retired in October 2016, she taught Fall Prevention to Senior Adults.
Now a senior herself, Miriam tries to remember what she taught others so as to benefit from that learning herself! Her retirement days are quite busy. For two years, Miriam has been a Board Member of East Bay Foundation on Aging (EBFA), which provides funding and safety net services to low income seniors living in Oakland.
Miriam’s Personal Interests
Miriam’s involved in the Jewish community, and as a member of Congregation Beth El in Berkeley is known as their “film curator”, picking and showing films with Jewish content. This year our focus was on “Celebrating Jewish Women” and she had great fun securing many good films to show.
Miriam also belongs to two Jewish choruses, sings some liturgical music and some Hebrew and Yiddish folk songs. She takes two play reading classes and one theater discussion class. Two years ago, she took up Mahjong and tries to keep that part of my brain active by playing the game at least two or three times a month. Last and certainly not least importantly, Miriam has two adorable grandsons – age 3 and 4 who live nearby for whom she enjoys babysitting.
Like many of us, she is one busy retired lady!