A brain fitness class at the JCC of San Francisco (Photo/Courtesy Charles Zukow Associates)
A brain fitness class at the JCC of San Francisco (Photo/Courtesy Charles Zukow Associates)

Keep your brain sharp at JCCSF cognitive fitness fair

A comedian and a neurologist walk into a JCC — not for a joke, but for a day of brain fitness events at the JCC of San Francisco on June 23.

The third annual Brain Fitness Forum will include a one-hour brain boot camp, hands-on activities, loads of experts on various topics and a two-hour session led by monologist Josh Kornbluth.

“Everything we’re doing that day is all about how to keep your brain sharp,” said Shiva Schulz, the JCC’s adult programs manager.

The all-day forum, one of several wellness fairs held annually at the JCCSF, is being presented in conjunction with Brain Awareness Month.

In his “Brain Improv” program, Kornbluth will use his storytelling skills to share information with the public about brain health.

“He’s not an academic, he’s not a doctor,” Schulz said. “So I think it makes it more accessible for people.”

But to make sure the science also gets out there, Kornbluth — a fellow at the Global Brain Health Institute — will be joined onstage by Winston Chiong, an associate professor of neurology at UCSF, who will be there to answer questions about just what’s going on inside our heads.

Other sessions will range from how to help the brain heal after a concussion, legal planning for those concerned about the onset of Alzheimer’s, and how to use plants and herbs for brain health. There’s also meditation, mindfulness and even coloring, an activity thought to relieve stress and improve motor skills.

“It’s free, it’s open to everyone,” Schulz said. “There’s a variety of speakers as well as hands-on activities.”

The forum will include photographer Scott Kline’s “Facing Time” project, in which he photographs individuals ages 55 and up and pairs the images with the subjects’ answers to questions like “How old do you feel?” and “What do you fear about getting older?” People interested in being photographed need to sign up for the activity at the front desk. It runs from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

The day will end with a screening of the 57-minute 2017 documentary “Too Soon to Forget: The Journey of Younger Onset Alzheimer’s Disease,” a film that that Schulz calls “a stunner.”

“It just blows your mind completely,” she said.

The event on Sunday, June 23, will run from 9:30 a.m. until 7:45 p.m. at the JCCSF, 3200 California St. All sessions and workshops are free, although advance registration is recommended online or by calling (415) 292-1200.