Schmooze Room Café for Seniors

Going on its 14th year as the heartbeat of the Jewish Federation's Bronfman Family Jewish Community Center, Schmooze Room Café for Seniors is run by Jewish Family Service, under the direction of JFS Director, Ruth Steinberg, with support from our Clinical Services and Senior Programs Coordinator, Howard Cohen, LPCC.

Every Tuesday, this free program serves a healthy, wholesome, and thoughtful lunch to an average of 50-60 seniors from 12:00-12:30 p.m., followed by a 45-minute enrichment presentation.

Recently, Schmooze Room’s popularity has hit a peak, due in part to our new chef, Doug Weinstein. Many in our Jewish community may already know Doug for his culinary kindness and tasty efforts, and we are delighted to have him lead the nutrition portion of this important social service to our community.

The enrichment presentation is another reason why Schmooze Room is so well loved. We regularly organize engaging educational, wellness, and spirit-lifting performances and presentations such as Music and Memory with Oak Cottage of Santa Barbara, Broadway Memories by Howard Cohen, Linda Vega Dance Studio: Sprit of Fiesta, Drought and Water Conservation with the City of Santa Barbara Public Works, and Preparing for Passover with Cantor Mark Childs. To view this month’s presentation schedule, visit:

And finally, Schmooze Room would not be possible if it were not for the dedicated volunteers in our Schmooze Crew (pictured above with Ruth Steinberg, Howard Cohen and Doug Weinstein). Coordinated by Mike Witt, the crew is the Federation’s most involved ongoing volunteer-based effort, who lovingly prepares and serves lunch every Tuesday, an average of 50 weeks per year.

We are delighted to be able to offer this key service to our community at no cost thanks to the generous support of a two-year grant from the S. Mark Taper Foundation.

If you are interested in learning how you can support Schmooze Room to allow us to grow this important service to our seniors, please contact Julie Levine Rubin, Development Director at (805) 957-1115 or


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