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May 16, 2003     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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May 16, 2003

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PAGE 6B HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS CHOOSE YOUR LISTENING Clarify Sounds Reduce Mumbling Make Weak Sounds Loud Sounds Strong and Reduce Reduce Background Noise Free Demo Available 407-855-9799 Call America's Choice Hearing Center to Get CListening. YOU ARE INVITED TO & PrOFESSnON~ JE~Z~Y EVA~ATION AND DESSERT TASTING MONDAY, .JUNE 9, 2003 2:00 PM TO 4:00 PM [.earn the estimated value of your favorite piece of jewelry while enjoying an afternoon of gourmet desserts and coffees. Professional gemologists from Jewelers of Maitland will be on hand to clean your finest jewelry and provide a professional evaluation of its estimated value. F&st piece professionally evaluated, complimentS of Chambrel at Island Lake. Space is limited, please RSVP to Kathy by June 4, 2003 407-767-6600 BROOKDALE CHAMBREL at ISLAND LAKE 160 Islander Court, Longwood, FL 32750 Exceptional Senior Living ALF #05753 1~ FeatureSource--Fort Lauderdale, Fla.- In many ways, Florence Ross was a typical Ph.D. student. She attended classes at Nova Southeastern University and spent hours studying and re- searching. Throughout her home, organized piles of papers were indicative of a work in progress in prepara- tion for her dissertation. When Ross received her doc- torate degree from NSU's Graduate School of Humani- ties and Social Sciences, however, it was apparent that she was not simply an average university student. At the age of 81, Ross - a resident of Tamarac, Fla. - was one of the oldest Ph.D. students ever to graduate from NSU. "If you must know the truth, I should be getting a doctorate in 'determina- tion,' because it took every ounce of determination to carry out my desire to be- come an authentic scholar," Ross says. Anyone who knows Florence Ross knows that she is determined in everything she does and is always ready to take on the next challenge. Her latest adventure as a university student was just one of many in her colorful life and sure not to be the last. For most of her life, she has been a social and political activist. She has lobbied, protested, and even been arrested for standing up for the causes she believes in. She met her heroine, Eleanor Roosevelt, on several occasions, and in the 1980s was dubbed the THE llATTRNIII) PACTORV When you eaa buy Item the people that make it you save money! You simply will not find a better mattress for a better price! Confused about buying a mattress? Come and get an education without the pressure to buy. Latex and Polyurethane Over 200 combined years of Foam Mattresses experience Waterbed replacements We take the mystery out of Immediately available buying a mattress Delivery and set-up Buy direct from our factory Removal of old bedding and leave out the middle man Save on headboards Wide selection of models Custom sizes and daybeds Adjustable Beds From $839 We Make Mattresses Right. 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She is an active member of the NGO (non-governmental or- ganization) on Aging at the United Nations, a member of*the Board of Directors of the prestigious Spiritual Eldering Institute of Boul- der, Colorado, chairman of the Council of Eiders of the new Sandier Saging Center of Boca Raton, and presi- dent of her synagogue, Temple Adath Or, in Davie, Fla. As one may dis- cern from her active life and the title of her disserta- tion, "El- ders as Citizen Diplomats, Leaders for Social Change," Ross be- lieves that ones elder years are not a time for withdraw- ing, but rather for actively participating. In her speak- ing engagements, Ross im- plores her audiences to ac- cept her as their "pin-up el- der." She tells them about her tragedies and triumphs and her philosophies. Most importantly, she tells them that it is never too late. "One of my most important les- sons in my almost 82 years is that an opportunity post- poned is not necessarily an opportunity denied," Ross says. In fact, her decision to re- turn to school was based on a promise she made to her father, who died when she was 12 years old. As a young lady in the 1940s, Florence Ross was already setting lofty goals and told her father that one day she would become a lawyer. She never forgot that promise. When she was in her 70s, she began a quest to fulfill it. After her third husband died, Ross approached Roger Abrams, then Dean of NSU's Shepard Broad Law Center, and asked him to admit her to the law school. Recogniz- ing that her passions and background were based more in activism than law, he suggested she look into NSU's Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sci- ences. There, she would dis- cover some of the country's most innovative programs in conflict analysis and peace studies, areas that would en- hance her knowledge andtions to the new Florence work as an activist. She en- Ross Global Peace Scholar" tered the program, received ship Fund at NSU, whichwill her master's degree in 1996, provide scholarship and then continued with her tance to women over the age doctoral studies, of 50. "I want to give other According to Ross, her olderwomenan journey as an NSU graduate study," Ross says. "I am student has been yet another tablishing this fund so new and exciting stage of an older woman may get her life. "It gave me a calling some help and beyond wanting to keep el- lent to return to ders politically active," Ross With her Ph.D. in hand, Roe says. "It was not just going plans to continue to to lunch with the girls. It eldering as a time of happl, i was something I was doing ness. to enhance myself, and that Now, of course was agood feeling." Through be new goals to set and nO all the hours of classes, re- challenges to meet not th( search, and writing papers, least of which is Ross says she accomplished some of the major issuesfa " an important personal goal. ing society today. "All my life, I wanted to be a "If we are going to scholar," she says. "I felt I the world's problems, we need peten leaderS, "Your whole life will be richer. What ross sayS have you got to lose? When you take the risk and go down the road not usu- ally taken, you will have no regrets." was a dilettante, but I wanted to be an authentic scholar. I wanted to feel it and experi- ence it, not just get through." Her classmates vouch for the fact that she did not "just get through." For Diana Strauss, a 38-year-old doctoral student in conflict analysis and resolution, having Ross as a fellow stu- dent was both inspiring and informative. Ross' life ex- periences, wisdom about past events, and knowledge of current events always made for lively class discus- sions and challenged the other students to "keep up," as Strauss says. "Florence Ross is a human being of exceptional quality and grace," Strauss says. "She has acted as a mentor, role model, friend, and intellec- tual and spiritual catalyst to her fellow students. Her presence in the conflict analysis and resolution pro- gram at Nova Southeastern University raised the bar in terms of the quality of the social and intellectual in- teraction for faculty and students alike." Now that she has graduat- ing, Ross left her mark on NSU in more ways than one. First, she celebrated with her friends and family at a big graduation party be- cause, after all, as she says, "This is a big deal." In lieu of graduation gifts, however, Ross asked her loved ones to help her give a gift to other "older" women who want to pursue an education. She asked them to make dona- loses a of leade ship if does n( involve elders. want elde population, which are to be a majority soon, their place as participants in the nity. They have the experience and that is needed to make porta a past. If you dot past, you are going to up the future." If there is one Ross wants to give one, young and old alike, is that you should always willing to take risks. whole life will be she says. "What have you to lose? When you risk and go down not usually taken, you have no regrets." Nova Southeastern versity, with its main pus in Fort Florida, is the largest pendent institution higher education in Southeast, and the est nationally. It bachelor's, rn tional specialist, doc and first- pro grees in a wide ran fields, including counseling, information scienceS, cation, medicine, various health profeSS: law, marine scienCeS, chology, and other sciences. The universi offers 18 under jors through the Center for Ux Studies. For more inforrn contact lic Affairs at 954 or 262- 5354. Have you recently lost your spouse? Are you having diffi- culties coping with the loss? Do you want to talk? If you answered yes, then you may want to consider joining the bereavement support group at Jewish Family Services. This group will meet for six consecutive Tuesdays at Jew- spo ish Family Services from 2 to 3:30 p.m. at the George Wolly Center, 2100 Lee Rd. in Win- ter Park from June 17 to July 22. Group facilitators are Ann Dumont, RN, LMHC from Hospice of the Comforter and Sandra Warshow, MSW, LCSW of Jewish Family Services. uses spi e Yad L'HesedJewish ~v 10~ Program and Beth Sh~i~ Memorial Chapel sP S is 00 support group. The~;to de' charge but donatiO~ ,ed. re aPPreciat ~ fray the cost a . root. To register or obtaW call lease 07 information P .~ b, " Sandra Warshow at jr, 644-7593, ext. 237