Bridging the generation gap

By linking some of our oldest community members with the very youngest, Montefiore’s Intergenerational Program fosters special connections.

Partnering with many local schools including Emanuel School, Moriah College, Masada College and Kesser Torah as well as Academy BJE, the program is rich and varied. “Spending time with young people brings our residents so much joy,” says Client & Community Relations Director Melanie Lindenberg, “but it’s equally rewarding for the children, who learn so much from interacting with our treasured older generations. Along with our broader one-on-one Student Volunteer Program with Jewish and local schools, it’s an integral part of what we offer to both our residents and the community.”

Woollahra Montefiore residents enjoy gardening and reading sessions in the beautiful grounds with Emmanuel Woollahra Preschool children, with residents Doreen Stokes and Julian Markovich also visiting the kindy campus weekly. These visits recently inspired the handy Julian to spend many hours creating something special, supported by wife Fay and Montefiore’s Leisure and Lifestyle team. The delight was clear on both sides when he presented each child with ‘The House that Jack Built’, allowing them to choose their own colours, doors and windows.

At Hunters Hill, residents look forward to Kabbalat Shabbat with Masada College primary school children, as well as concerts and sharing in living history projects with older high school students.

Academy BJE has recently partnered with the Montefiore Spiritual and Cultural Department to share Shabbat Project and Purim initiatives across all sites. “The Shabbat Project was really heartwarming,” says Montefiore’s Lynda Dave, “with residents and students making challah together and exchanging special memories.”

Randwick residents also enjoy regular Kabbalat Shabbat visits with Moriah preschool students, while the Intergenerational Program’s youngest participants are the babies and toddlers who attend a playgroup there with their mothers on Wednesdays. This year early learning expert Rose Fekete will join Rene Ichilcik and the Montefiore Community Relations team as a volunteer to help enhance the fortnightly sessions.

If you are interested in joining the playgroup with your child, please contact Rene on (02) 8345 9114 or richilcik@montefiore.org.au.