From the Religious School Director

Jewish tradition puts much emphasis on respect for the elderly and recognition of the wisdom seniors possess. I am a firm believer that we all learn from “doing” and that experience is the best teacher.  I would like to share with you a wonderful program that our students have been invited to participate in this year. It is called the Better Together Program and it’s purpose is to connect senior citizens with students in middle school and high school. I had the wonderful experience of facilitating this program at Kadimah Academy for three years and saw the benefits to both students and seniors. Needless to say, I was thrilled when Shir Shalom was asked to partner with Hebrew High School.    

The Better Together program provides a vehicle for fostering communication and interaction between the two generations. Many of the seniors do not have the opportunity to visit with their families. They can become lonely and depressed. They look forward to visits from the students.  The students learn that there is much they have in common and since connection and interaction is crucial to this program, personal relationships are developed. Students are not just participants, they are encouraged to develop meaningful programs and take ownership for the events.  

The Better Together Program is funded through a grant and although many Jewish schools in many states participate, each group determines the events and activities that senior citizens and students engage in together. The funding covers the costs of the activities and transportation to and from Weinberg Campus for our students. Interestingly enough, the most economical way for our students to travel to and from Weinberg is in a limo!  We have ten visits planned – three of those include dinner after Religious School on Tuesday evenings. Students have shared that they enjoy going and are learning a great deal through their interactions. 

If you are interested in hearing more about this program, other programs and activities or would just like to stop by and chat, my office hours are on Thursdays from 1:30 to 3:00pm (or by appointment if these hours do not work).opportunity to speak with you! 

Hope Bongiorno

Last updated: January 1, 2018 at 13:03 pm