Several teens from Boulder, CO have been participating in a program called Bettere Together this school year. It is an intergenerational program held at Frasier Meadows Retirement Community. Teens and residents spend time together praying, singing, asking questions, sharing stories, cooking, doing art projects, and connecting with each other. Yael, a teen participant, spoke about her experience at Saturdy morning t’filah during NFTY Missouri Valley’s Spring Chavurah. Here are the words she shared with the group of over 150 teens:
Better Together is a program in Boulder, Colorado where NFTY-MV teens can spend time at a senior home called Frasier Meadows. Together with the residents, we get to have Jewish experiences such as services and discussing Torah, and occasionally, celebrating Jewish holidays. Since we have services at Frasier Meadows, the style is more traditional than a typical NFTY service; yet as we merge our worship styles together we get to form a kehillah kedosha, or holy community.
I love Better Together because it’s given me the opportunity to form intergenerational relationships, and I’ve learned so much about what life was like in different time periods. One of the residents we work with, named Johanna, grew up in Germany during the second World War. Dorothy Rupert, a resident who was a Colorado state senator, told us about her experience living through the Great Depression. Though these may seem like periods of darkness, there are also amazing stories of light – Rebekka, one of our other residents, has amazing stories of her experiences living through the Zionist movement.
In addition to sharing their life stories, they’re also interested in our lives and the way we’re growing up now. I’ve had amazing conversations about our generation and the new wave of activism we’re experiencing, thanks in part to the technology available to us. We’ve also had our own darkness, though, with the unfortunate resurgence of anti-Semitism recently, and I’ve had interesting conversations about that also.
I love these intergenerational relationships because we learn so much from each other. I encourage anyone who can get to Boulder to join us for Better Together.