Brandeis’ Legacy Heritage Better Together Program - Year Three

Debby Arzt-Mor, Director of Jewish Learning
Two years ago, The Brandeis School of San Francisco was selected to participate in the Legacy Heritage Better Together Program, a four-year program designed to encourage meaningful intergenerational connections between our students and senior members of our community. Now in the third year of our grant program, our 8th grade, under the direction of Ms. Baumer and Ms. Arzt-Mor, is participating in the program with The San Francisco Campus for Jewish Living (SFCJL). We are happy to be participating in the Legacy Heritage Better Together Program and look forward to sharing with our community how this program positively influences our students and our friends at SFCJL. 

Last year, despite the challenges of the pandemic, Brandeis’ community partnership with The San Francisco Campus for Jewish Living was a resounding success thanks to our strong partnership, and thanks to the wonders of Zoom technology. Last year’s Better Together grant made it possible for us to secure a set of iPads for SFCJL participants, key to building these relationships despite the physical distance. Better Together curricular materials, created specially for distance learning and social distancing, helped us build out the program as well. A successful intergenerational program requires ongoing collaboration and planning with our community partner, and we could not have asked for better partners than Rebecca Holzman, SFCJL Intergenerational Volunteer Coordinator, and the rest of the SFCJL staff. 

As we prepare for our third year of intergenerational programming, we are thrilled to announce that our 8th graders are being invited back onto the SFCJL campus to meet with residents, in person, for rich and meaningful programming on a monthly basis. Of course, all participating students and adults will be fully vaccinated, and masks will be required at all times. 

This year’s program will kick off this month with an in-person orientation to SFCJL with Rebecca Holzman, and our students will begin their in-person visits with the residents in October. Our first visit will include a tour of the facilities and a presentation by the SFCJL “Sages”, representatives of the senior residents, followed by Q&A.

Under the guidance of Ms. Baumer, our 8th grade students will devote time on a regular basis to exploring Jewish values and texts that provide opportunities for intergenerational learning and will work on joint projects with their SFCJL partners connected with the Jewish and civic calendars. This programming will continue throughout the year, as each 8th grade class has an opportunity to learn from, and bring joy, to the residents at SFCJL.

We look forward to sharing additional highlights of the Better Together program with the Brandeis and SFCJL community as the year progresses.