Springfield JCC to Celebrate Sylvia Rosen’s 30 Years of Teaching

Sylvia Rosen is celebrating 30 years of teaching scores of students how to improve their writing skills at the Springfield Jewish Community Center (SJCC). (Photo credit: Springfield JCC)

SPRINGFIELD, MA – Legendary Creative Writing Instructor Sylvia Rosen is celebrating 30 years of teaching scores of students how to improve their writing skills at the Springfield Jewish Community Center (SJCC). The Creative Writing class is one of the many course offerings included in Life Lessons: The William & Margery Sadowsky Center for Adult Learning at the SJCC.

In a 2015 article published by the Springfield Republican, Sylvia wrote, “I love words. Turns out I’m a lexophile, which I just learned is the word for such people. I’m endlessly fascinated by the vast variety of those magical symbols that combine to give expression to our feelings, thoughts, aspirations.”

With this special appreciation, Sylvia has helped coach many to become better writers by sharpening their skills with particular emphasis on style and language in a supportive environment.

Through the years, the men and women in her classes have written volumes of stories and precious memoirs and have even seen their work in print. Some have published their work including long-time student George Kingston. Kingston recently published his second book, William Van Alen, Fred T. Ley, and the Chrysler Building, the story of the builder, a high school dropout from Springfield, which Kingston will speak about on Wednesday, April 25 at 7 p.m. at the SJCC.

In addition to teaching Creative Writing, during her tenure at the SJCC, Rosen has facilitated book discussion groups as well as developed the programming for New Horizons, a learning in retirement program. She recently published her own children’s book, The Happy Apple.

Rosen earned her Master of Education degree at American International College. She has been a teacher, a freelance writer and long-time columnist for the Springfield Sunday Republican.

On Tuesday, May 8 at noon, the SJCC will honor Rosen at a luncheon. All current and former students, as well as members of the community, are welcome to join in the celebration. Rosen’s students are encouraged to share class memories or their work at this program.

Hard to believe, but she is 99 and looking forward.

“Sylvia is so well respected and has provided her students with a love of writing. She has quite a following,” said Beverly Nadler, Director of Adult Life at the SJCC.

Sandy Leighton, one of Rosen’s longtime students said: ”I can’t think of anyone who is more deserving of this tribute than Sylvia Rosen. Sylvia is a devoted teacher and friend who considers her students, her ‘kids.’ As one of her ‘kids’ who has been in her class for approximately sixteen years, I’m grateful for all that I’ve learned from her. Our classes are interesting and fun, and we laugh a lot. Our close knit group considers ourselves a family, and sometimes a therapy group.”

Upon learning about the luncheon in her honor, Rosen said: “It was a sweet surprise to learn that the JCC was planning to celebrate my 30 years as instructor of the Creative Writing class. Almost immediately I thought what a wonderful opportunity it would be to express my thanks to all the talented people who have enriched my life by coming to the program, often year after year. They shared the laughter and tears that life brings in their beautifully written stories, and their joy was my joy when their words appeared between the covers of a book or in a periodical. What an extraordinary experience it has been for me to spend time with a succession of such creative and productive writers. My message to them is this, given with love: keep writing, keep well and keep in touch. My gratitude also goes to the Springfield JCC, this superb institution, and to the men and women who make it all work. Thank you for allowing me these thirty years of pleasure and growth.“

To join the celebration and to make a reservation, call 413-739-4715. For those who wish to honor Sylvia Rosen’s milestone, donations may be made to the Springfield JCC to support adult education programs.

– Article submitted by Springfield JCC