More than 7,500 frum retirees worldwide seek weekly inspiration and insights from SPIRIT (Stimulating Program Initiative for Retirees that Inspires Thought), the Orthodox Union’s (OU) program for those 60 and older.
SPIRIT sessions feature renowned speakers who share practical, interesting insights on Torah-based and secular topics, as well as a variety of recreational activities and entertainment. It draws participants from 45 states and 23 countries, including Ethiopia, Serbia and Thailand, with new attendees joining weekly.
The program, which operates through the OU’s Department of Community Projects and Partnerships, appeals to participants from a wide range of Orthodox backgrounds.
“SPIRIT has touched upon everything, including finance, legal issues, relationships, mental health, nutrition, caregiving, kashrus, tefillah and Jewish history, to name a few,” said Rebbetzin Judi Steinig, senior director of the OU’s Department of Community Projects and Partnerships. “We also feature fun, appropriate programming ranging from comedy to cooking to chair yoga.”
Steinig says the majority of attendees are highly educated, and that the sophisticated programming reflects their intellectual curiosity and knowledge. The program often attracts participants younger than 60.
All courses are free of charge and run for approximately 45 minutes on Tuesday mornings at 11 a.m. EST. Most classes are interactive Zoom sessions. SPIRIT also runs occasional in-person sessions at one of 50 partner shuls in the United States, with simultaneous online broadcasts. Following each program, all registrants receive a recording of the class.
To register for SPIRIT classes and to view archived programs, visit: www.ou.org/spirit.