Yael Stein Introduces AJFF Movie

February 28, 2020

Yael Stein Introduces AJFF Movie

Yael Stein, Senior Clinician with JF&CS, introduced the film, Africa, during the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival.

Yael Stein, Senior Clinician with JF&CS, introduced the film, Africa, during the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival. Many have asked to be able to read the text version of her introduction. The following is the text of Yael's opening remarks.

Good afternoon and Shalom,

My name is Yael Stein. I am a clinical social worker in the counseling department at Jewish family and career services of Atlanta.

Established in 1891, JF&CS offers a variety of programs and resources to help thousands of individuals annually regardless of age, race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation or ability to pay. Our staff are highly qualified and our brochures are available in the lobby.

This afternoon we are in for a real treat as we watch a gem of a movie called “Africa”, which offers a profound contemplation on aging and transitions.

They say the only constant in life is change. Coping with transitions is a lifelong reality which can become more challenging to successfully negotiate as we age

towards retirement. We have become more set in our ways; many of us feel bombarded by the rapid pace of change (it anyone?). Retirement these days can be a longer time span than ever before. We must prepare for it.

Some transitions are predictable and thus anticipated; some may be wanted; some may be unwanted or beyond our control; some may be obvious while others can be more subtle; some may be unexpected; some transitions can be negotiated with relative ease.

Others may be and feel devastating.

Each transition has a logical component as well as an emotional component, which is often overlooked or misunderstood. Unfulfilled in the present, we may feel stuck and disempowered as we unhappily yearn for what was; many may enjoy reminiscing while leading meaningful lives in the present. Each change will involve a decision of holding on or letting go, and we need to give ourselves permission to grieve these transitions. In order to thrive at any age, we all need to feel a sense of purpose, empowerment, relevance and community. This can feel and be challenged in retirement. We can meet our challenges by creating an individual “Plan B”.

As you watch this film, consider how the two main characters, who in real life are the parents of the movie’s writer and director, cope in their individual ways with what was and what is. Be mindful in this under-stated yet multi-layered film of triggers such as images, sounds, music. Finally, ask yourself why the director titled this film “Africa”.