The Highland Park Senior Social Network (HPSSN) is an organization for adults (60 and older) seeking a supportive social network made up of long standing and new friends who share a commitment to remain active, independent and involved in the community. Our first meeting was in February 2014.

ssn ritaHPSSN meets the 3rd Monday of each month, 7-9pm, in the Parlor of the Reformed Church of Highland Park. In addition to monthly meetings, outings and gatherings are scheduled throughout the month which include visits to art museums, concerts, luncheons, and a book club that meets every Tuesday at 10:30am in the Juvenile Books room at the Highland Park Public Library.
There are many ways to become involved. Please contact the Who Is My Neighbor office at or Rita Finstein if you would like further information. All seniors are welcome to attend!


Monday, February 20: John Hulme, a Highland Park resident and graduate of Highland Park High School, will show his film “Unknown Soldier: Searching for a Father.” On June 30, 1969, 2nd Lt. Jack Hulme was killed in Vietnam. He never met his newborn son. The film premiered on HBO’s America Undercover on Memorial Day, 2005.

zimmerli-art-museumThursday, January 19: Since our meeting date falls on Martin Luther King Day, instead of having our regular meeting on that evening, we are booked for a docent tour of a new special exhibit at the Zimmerli Art Museum, “Innovation and Abstraction: Women Artists and Atelier 17” at 11:00 a.m. The exhibit examines the formal innovations and burgeoning feminist consciousness of eight artists who worked at the legendary Atelier 17 printmaking studio. The fee for the tour is $10 payable on the day of the tour. Anyone who wishes may stay for lunch at the cafeteria located in the museum following the tour. Please contact Rita by January 11th if you would like to attend and if you would like to share a ride.



Monday, December 19: Holiday Potluck Dinner

Monday, November 21: We will have a performance by the Bacoustics , a Rutgers University, Mason Gross Department of Music undergraduate bassoon ensemble conducted by Professor Christopher Wickham. The ensemble is committed to raising “bassoon awareness” within the community and provides educational outreach concerts throughout the state of New Jersey as well as neighboring New York and Pennsylvania. This summer they made their international debut at the Summer Music in Tuscany Music Festival.

Monday, October 17: We will have a discussion about the upcoming national election led by Gerald Pomper, Board of Governors Professor of Politic Science (Emeritus) at the Eagleton Institute of Politics of Rutgers University. He is a specialist in American elections and politics and has written several books on this subject. He taught at Rutgers for fifty years and was chairman of the University and Livingston College political science departments. Professor Pomper will focus on “The Astonishing Election of 2016” and he’ll talk about the Electoral College, the influences on the vote, and he’ll make a prediction on the final outcome.

Monday, September 19: Three of our members, Mary Dalton, Lois Farrah, and Esther Barcum will continue our Beginning Life Tales and Trails project and Judy Targove will again provide delicious refreshments.

June 23, June 28, July 18, July 27: Princeton University Summer Chamber Music Concerts.

Monday, June 20: We will have a pot luck supper and social evening. Please let me know by June 16th if you plan to attend and what type of dish you will be bringing to share (appetizer, salad, entree, dessert).

Monday, May 16: Paula Antebi will talk about and share photos from the recent trip that she and her husband David made to Cuba. The second part of the program will be an acupuncture demonstration by Dana Cappa who is a graduate of Rutgers University and has a Master’s degree from the Tri-State College of Acupuncture in New York. She has been in practice for seventeen years and her office is currently located at 1001 Route 27 in Highland Park. She will show us how acupuncture is done and answer questions about what it can accomplish.

Friday, May 13: Main Street Planting Day in the Veterans Triangle of Highland Park

Monday, April 18: Meredith Carman who has a BS in Environmental Science specializing in Landscape Architecture will talk to us about creating our own attractive container gardens and show us slides of the many beautiful public gardens that are not very far away from us. Meredith has been involved in the planting of the containers on Raritan Avenue and is the president of Who Is My Neighbor our sponsoring organization.

Monday, March 21: Pastor Seth Kaper-Dale will speak on Refugee Resettlement in Highland Park.

Monday, February 22: Our guest speaker will be Jerry Choi, Doctor of Physical Therapy. Dr. Choi graduated from the University of Delaware. In his practice at the Primetime Wellness Center in Highland Park, he primarily deals with musculoskeletal issues along with vertigo and dizziness. His talk will focus on the importance of balance and exercise. He will discuss some causes, conditions, and possible solutions to these problems and will answer questions about keeping fit and active as we age.

Monday, January 18: Our guest speaker will be Mea Kaemmerlen, president of the Funeral Consumers Alliance of Princeton. The mission of this not-for-profit all volunteer organization is to “promote advance planning for funeral, cremation and memorial arrangements and to educate consumers about their rights and options regarding end-of-life issues.” She will be able to give us up-to-date information about funeral and cremation options and costs, cemetery options and costs, and much more. We will also continue with our Trails and Tales project. Joyce Browning will tell us more about what it was like growing up in New Brunswick.


Monday, December 21: We will have a holiday pot luck supper and social evening. Bring a grab bag gift (not more than $5.00).

Monday, November 16: Jean Stockdale from the Reformed Church will talk to us about “Labor Trafficking -the story of how some residents of Highland Park, NJ learned about the problem and are assisting the victims.”  We will also continue our Trails and Tales personal stories with Judy Friedman.

Monday, October 19: Robyn Shumer, certified yoga teacher, and working mom to two children, will lead us in chair yoga. Robyn teaches yoga at all levels and loves to bring the practice to people of all abilities. The Beginning Life Trails and Tales speaker this month will be Ruth Jansyn.

Thursday, June 18: Chamber concert at Richardson Auditorium on the campus of Princeton University.

Monday, June 15: Picnic in the Open Grove of Donaldson Park. This will be our last regular meeting until September 21, 2015. Food and beverages will be provided so just bring yourselves, partners, and friends who might be interested in joining our group. Anyone with musical talent, this will be a good time to share.

Monday, May 18: A member of the Borough Council, Gary Potts, will join us to discuss the formation of a Senior Task Force in Highland Park. We will also continue The Beginning Life Trails and Tales Project with presentations by Cathy Korten and Muriel Haber.

ssn nutritionMonday, April 20: Our speaker will be Kathleen Malkiewicz who is the director of the senior nutrition program for the Union County Division on Aging. Kathleen is passionate about nutrition and health, especially as a means of aging well. She will share information on nutrition as well as answer our questions on the topic as we strive to stay heathy and enjoy our lives. We will also continue our project Beginning, Life Trails and Tales, with Joyce Browning sharing about “Growing up in New Brunswick.”

Monday, March 16: Movie Night – “Iron Jawed Angels.” It is the true story of Alice Paul (Hillary Swank) and Lucy Burns (Francis O’Connor) who put their lives at risk to help American women win the right to vote. It also stars Julia Ormond and Angelica Huston.

Monday, February 16: We will continue our project, Beginning Life Trails and Tales, with “Four for February.” Four of our members, Josiane Joyce, Francine Kritchek, Mary Dalton, and Rita Finstein, will share stories from the experiences of their lives. We’ll have a birthday cake to celebrate our first anniversary and please bring suggestions for programs you would like us to have in the future.

Thursday, January 8: We are booked for an overview tour of the Zimmerli Art Museum at 11:00 am. Wendy Jager will be our docent. The fee for the tour is $10 payable on the day of the tour. Anyone who wishes may stay at the museum for lunch in their cafeteria following the tour.

Monday, January 19: To celebrate Martin Luther King Day we will be attending the Boro program at 7pm.


July 13: Chamber Music Concert at Richardson Auditorium, Princeton, NJ
July 16: Mason Gross Faculty Jazz Concert, New Brunswick, NJ

September 15: Sergeant R. Walko of the Middlesex County Sheriff’s Department will speak to us on “The Latest in the Scam Artist Scene.” Sergeant Walko will make us aware of how we particularly as seniors can be taken advantage of in this technological society.

October 1: HP Pedestrian and Bike Survey
October 15: Culinary Arts Luncheon at Middlesex County College
October 20: 7-8pm Professor Rebecca Davis, Director of the Center for International Social Work in the Graduate School of Social Work at Rutgers University will be the speaker. She will discuss the work she does in many countries in Sub Saharan Africa helping those who face the challenge of building a strong child welfare and protection workforce. Professor Davis will provide an overview of what she is doing to help improve the ability of community care workers to cope with high priority problems such as violence against children, child trafficking, and children who are affected by HIV/AIDS. She will provide case examples of her work which she does in partnership with African governments and social workers in Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Nigeria, and Liberia who face these difficult challenges.
8-9pm Highland Park Mayoral Candidate Meet and Greet

November 17: Our program for the evening will feature a local resident and historical fiction writer Judy Petsonk. She will talk about a little-known historical figure Queen Salome Alexandra. Queen Salome lived between the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) and the New Testament and influenced the culture of the whole Western world. Judy did extensive research on this little known heroine before writing her book, Queen of the Jews. Archeologists have uncovered ruins of her palaces, forts, and ritual baths. The author used her imagination to fill in the historical gaps in order to tell us about this charismatic leader who ruled Judea in the first century BCE.
Terracycling – What is it? How do we find it? Find out from Meredith Carman at November’s meeting.

December 15: At 6:30pm, we will have a pot luck supper followed by the first in the LIFE TRAILS & TALES series. Jill Millerand will share her experiences in France during WWII. “In the spring of 1940 I was fourteen. The Nazis were heading for Paris. Uncle Pierre admonished by mother, ‘Get the girls out’….”