Chanukah is The Holiday of Miracles!
Temple Beth Sholom of Roslyn, New York, under the direction of Sharon Solomon, Religious School Director and Grant Coordinator Hanna Harel is in our second year of an intergenerational in depth partnership with the seniors at the Atria on Roslyn Harbor. This is all made possible by a grant with the Legacy Heritage Better Together Program. Our first year’s monthly engagement components were centered on the theme of technology. As you teach, you learn” (Midrash Tehillim). We wanted to bring our senior friends up to date!
Chanukah is the holiday of miracles. It is the story of a small, outnumbered heroic band of Jewish fighters, the Maccabees, who defend their right to religious freedom. They fight and win against the mighty Greek army and send them out of Israel. Miracle 1
When the Maccabees return victoriously to their Temple, They find it destroyed. They find a small, sealed kosher jar of oil. It is enough oil to light the eternal light for one day. As history tells us, it burned for eight straight days. Miracle 2
We have witnessed what this program has done for our seventh grade students and the Atria seniors. It has produced miracles! They have become “buddies”! Where once TBS students were able to be on site at the Atria to do programming, students now communicate with their senior friends through written journals that are exchanged weekly.
Yes the unheard of, Miracle 1, the students and seniors have become pen pals! The seniors have taught them that the “old fashioned” paper and pen trick comes in quite handy!
Students are quite impressed with their senior friends, as they have “Zoomed” together to prepare “turkey challahs and chocolate babkas with the aid of a professional baker. Robyn Huber, senior “buddy” of
Ryder Weinberg a seventh grade student at the synagogue, recently attended his Bar Mitzvah on “Zoom”.
Seniors can learn technology from our students! Miracle 2
To honor our new friends at the Atria on Roslyn Harbor, they were invited on Zoom to our TBS Outdoor Chanukah Lighting Ceremony and Concert program. We dedicated a song to the seniors and staff of this treasured community at the event.
Temple Beth Sholom is grateful for this grant that has allowed our students to experience this worthwhile initiative.
We salute the staff, directors and our partner at the Atria on Roslyn Harbor, Senior Engage Life Director, Meagan Devine Collazo for opening the doors to a successful joint bond between seniors and youth. This miraculous program has fostered friendships, shared wisdom and joy, all in the spirit of giving back…mitzvot as Jews would say.