Southeast Senior Center for Independent Living

Self-sufficiency and independent living are the goals of SESCIL. The center’s activities are planned to restore, improve and maintain your physical, emotional and social health. Our dedicated instructors teach classes from watercolor to bridge and mahjong, exercises like Aerobics, Yoga, Belly Dancing, and Tai Chi and even foreign languages.

Click here for a complete list of events this month.

The staff consists of community professionals dedicated to supporting the well-being of our members. In 1992, SESCIL took over administrative duties from the County and became a private not-for-profit organization. In August of 2019, SESCIL became a part of the BFC family.

You can join the SESCIL Singers and travel to different sites to perform. You may prefer to participate in one of our support groups that help with stress, overcoming loss of family and friends, and coping with other issues related to aging.

We can help with questions about entitlement programs such as Social Security, Medicare, Home Energy Assistance, Senior Housing, NJ Homestead Rebate, tax returns and more. You will learn about the range of community, county, state and federal outreach programs .

We are confident that you will find something of value here. The Southeast Senior Center is open to anyone  age 55 and older.  Seniors can use any of our services or join any of our daily programs after paying an annual membership fee of $50.

Who We Are

In 1978, eleven municipalities - Bogota, Cliffside Park, Edgewater, Englewood, Englewood Cliffs, Fairview, Fort Lee, Leonia, Palisades Park, Ridgefield, and Ridgefield Park ,from Bergen County’s southeast region-pooled funds received from the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant program to form Southeast Senior Center for Independent Living (SESCIL).

The focus was to provide preventive, maintenance and reparative health care programs and services to the elderly. Over the years, programs and services have expanded to include educational and creative classes, support and discussion groups, as well as transportation to and from the center. Since its inception, SESCIL has had community based, policy making members on the Board of Directors, to oversee the development and ongoing growth of the organization.


Uniquely, SESCIL provides a broad range of therapeutic services and programs that maintain and restore the physical, emotional and social health of the elderly. Self-sufficiency and independent living is the goal to avoid premature and indeed any institutionalization.

Did You Know?

Our social workers provide assistance to SESCIL members to assess what entitlement programs are appropriate. We can assist in helping to complete and submit applications. We assist members in a variety of other areas relative to their quality of life , understanding and enrolling in available programs such as PAAD, Lifeline, Senior Gold and much more.

Activities and Programs

This class encourages people to explore this fluid medium by supplying basic materials, setting up still life and offering books on technique etc. Completed works are displayed in the Center. Instructor: Fern Norris
Class meets on Thursdays @ 10:00 am.

Knitting Group
With the help of a new leader, this group is once again engaged in improving their skills. Some are beginning to learn how to knit while others are continuing to minimize their mistakes and move on to beautifully finished products. The more advanced knitters are more than willing to assist the beginners so there is always a feeling of accomplishment and a minimum of frustration as they all work together. Group Leader:: Louise Schwartz Class meets on Thursdays @ 12:30 pm .

SESCIL Singers
This group learns a diverse repertoire of songs – spirituals, American Songbook, folk and other ethnic and musical theater favorites. They sing at Senior Residences, Nursing and Assisted Living Residences during the year. All are welcome to join us in sharing our talents and time. If interested, contact the Center or come for a visit. Facilitator: Marilyn Arons - Class meets on Tuesdays @ 11:30am-1:00pm .

Mixed Media
Discover the hidden artist within you and explored the exciting world of creating your own art work. From paints, to paper to "found objects", they can all be turned into art. The only bounds is your imagination.


  • Italian - This group meets weekly to discuss anything and everything (in Italian).There are also short readings in a very pleasant, stress free atmosphere. All levels are welcome. Instructor: Marie Foa lass meets on Mondays @ 10:00 am.
  • Spanish - (Beginners and Intermediate) This group reads short stories to practice and improve pronunciation and understanding then continues the lessons in the " Spanish Now" book, adding to the base of Basic Spanish with emphasis on conversation. They also learn some Spanish songs,and how to cook some Spanish dishes. Instructor: Gladcia Drew, Class meets on Wednesdays @ 1:30 pm.
  • French - This class provides a fun, social and friendly atmosphere where attendees cover a variety of topics. Conversations are constructive and interesting as each participant brings something from their diverse culture into our learning situation. Instructor: Rosine Tanashian, Class meets on Fridays @ 1:30 pm.

Groove, gyrate, flow, stretch, sway, or all of the above. At SESCIL we offer an exercise class for a variety of preferences, ability levels and benefits. Need some motivation? How about gaining the many benefits exercise offers:

  • Lower blood pressure Improved balance
  • Improved balance
  • Better brain function
  • Prevention or regulation of common diseases
  • Enhanced mood
  • Weight loss
  • Better mobility
  • Reduced risk of heart attack
  • Less stress and anxiety

We offer something for everyone.

The music will inspire you, while you combine dance like rhythmic movements with stretching and strength training. You’ll start by warming up your muscles, move on to cardiovascular activity, then tone your muscles, work your abdominal muscles and body core, and end by stretching.

By making aerobics part of your regular schedule, you can improve your flexibility, muscular strength, cardiovascular fitness, endurance, posture, bone density, circulation, and joint health.

With each class, your sense of accomplishment and self confidence will grow.

Due to its low intensity, this class is suitable for people at all fitness levels. Classes are offered every Tuesday and Thursday, from 8:30 am to 9:30 am. Bobbye and Leslie lead the charge.

Belly Dancing for Fitness and Fun
Let go. Isolate, undulate and gyrate your way to fitness, and another place and time. Belly dance, native to the Middle East, is an improvisational dance that is fluidly integrated with the music’s rhythm. The dancer’s goal is to visually communicate to the audience the emotion and rhythm of the music. Many see belly dance as a celebration of the sensuality and power of being a mature woman. Most of the basic steps and techniques used in belly dance are circular motions isolated in one part of the body; for example, a circle parallel to the floor isolated in the hips or shoulders. Belly Dance… there’s not a part of your body you won’t use. In the process, you’ll: ,calm your mind,Soothe your spirit, ward of osteoporosis, enhance flexibility, relieve back pain, lubricate your joints, tone deep abdominal muscles, tap into your sexuality.

Enjoy the sensuality that comes from freedom of expression, as Sandi Cohen guides you through this journey. Our spirits take flight on Mondays beginning at 9:00 am.

Stretch & Flex
In Stretch & Flex, strengthening exercises and stretches are used to increase muscle power, and promote flexibility and balance. The focus is on developing muscles you use: mainly the legs, hips, back and shoulders. The goal is to engage participants in a wellness program that will help them better perform the activities of daily living. Flexibility refers to a joint’s range of motion. It is likely the most neglected aspect of physical fitness, but should be a part of everyone's weekly fitness routine. Weight training strengthens and tones muscles and helps build stamina. People who are physically inactive can loose as much as 3% to 5% of their muscle mass per decade, after age 30. This loss is a factor in the occurrence of frailty and the likelihood of falls and fractures in older adults. Balance is vital to normal, everyday life activities. A fitness program should include coordinating the muscle and joint movements required to maintain balance. This ability is a complex process that depends on three major components: the sensory system providing information about the body's position; the brain's ability to process this information; and the muscles and joints that coordinate the movements required to maintain balance. Classes take place Mondays at 1:30 P.M. and Wednesdays at 9:30 A.M.


The Art of Meditation
Chi Kung and Tai Chi have been referred to as meditation in motion, as their flowing movements focus and relax racing minds. While doing so the body benefits from improved muscle tone, flexibility, coordination, and staving off physical signs of aging. Chi is considered to be the flow of energy through the universe. It is said to flow through channels in the human body and, if blocked, can lead to poor health.

Chi Kung and Tai Chi can be practiced regardless your level of ability, whatever your state of health Chi Kung Chi Kung involves performing movements that stimulate the flow of chi through the body. It is a tranquil, relaxing exercise, stressing balance, deep breathing and mindful movement that improves circulation and flow.

Chi Kung provides a nourishing and stimulating environment in which to relax and replenish the body, mind and spirit. A review of a July 2010 article in the "American Journal of Health Promotion" found that Chi Kung improves bone health, cardio-respiratory fitness, immune function and can help prevent falls. Its methods are simple, yet its effect is profound. The journey takes place with Norman Blagman, every Tuesday at 10:00 am and Wednesday 10:45 am.

Tai Chi Tai Chi is a system of Chi Kung that, although very similar to Chi Kung, has been combined with the framework of a martial art. It therefore contains combat techniques, as well as healing ones. It offers an effective way to maintain, improve or recover health. It is an effective therapy for poor circulation, high blood pressure, arthritis, back pain, breathing difficulties, digestive and nervous disorders. Join Shelia Mason every Wednesday, from 8:15 am to 9:15 am.

Support & Discussion Groups

  • New Horizons ( Post-Stroke Group) -This group is a program offered by the Bergen County Office of Disability Services. Each session begins with chair exercise followed by ceramics twice a month. Sessions also include speakers who cover a variety of health topics. Presenters include storytellers, art and music appreciation, emergency preparedness and even an opportunity to see some of the live animals housed at the Bergen County Zoo. Facilitator: Gladcia Drew. Group meets on Fridays @ 9:30 am to 1:00 pm.
  • Coping with Health Issues - This group functions as an educational and psychosocial forum. Each week a health related article, chosen by the leaders, is presented to the group for dialogue. Members are also encouraged to bring up health topics of their choice. EHMC will have a speaker every 3rd Monday. Instructors: Mary Ragnone, RN and Paula Gellis, MSWᅠ. Our Class meets on Mondays @ 10:00 am.
  • Weight Related Issues -This weekly class has lively, interactive discussions about weight issues. There is a discussion concerning the effectiveness of several types of diet, nutrition and supplements. Instructor: Mary Ragnone, RN . Class meets on Mondays @ 10:00 am.
  • Book Review Group -The SESCIL Book Group is jointly sponsored by the Center and the Englewood Library with the Reference Librarian leading the group. They have been in existence since 1996. They read and discuss a wide range of books including fiction, non-fiction, biographies and others. They have very lively discussions and debates relative to the books read . This is a fun-filled learning experience for all. Come see for yourself. Group Leader: Dr. Jim Cole. Group meets on the last Thursday of each month @ 10:00 am.

March Calendar

Click here for a complete list of classes events and more this month at SESCIL.

We're Easy to Find

228 Grand Avenue, Englewood NJ 07631
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For More Info

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Contact: Alexis Cooperman
Phone: 201-568-0817