Last year, B’nai TELEM students from Temple Shir Tikvah in Winchester took time to visit seniors at the Hearthstone Senior Facility in Woburn. Youth Director Shahar Colt wrote a letter to the parents of B’nai TELEM students to let them know how the trip went and to share this special experience with them.
Dear 6th Grade Parents,
Our visit with the senior residents there was an incredibly impactful one for students, parents, residents, and staff alike. A huge thank you goes out to the parents who volunteered to drive as well as to Beth for preparing our students to share their voices in song with the community at Hearthstone. The students practiced, prepared and performed admirably. While in class, they really got a sense for what they were going to be doing there on Wednesday – to share themselves and share of themselves with the residents in order to bring a little extra light into their day.
After the formal singing program and spending some time introducing ourselves to the residents, we did take a moment to process the day. What we heard was profound. Many students acknowledged being uncomfortable when they walked in and first saw the seniors. Many also acknowledged that this feeling went away after a while, especially when they saw how many in the audience responded positively to the singing. Some students spoke about the good feelings that came over them when they saw the impact on the audience. And some students wondered how much of a connection they could make if they actually came back again to sing or sit and talk with the people living there. Of course that last sentiment is one of the things most important to our entire B’nai TELEM curriculum – the desire to keep doing acts of kindness like this over and over again. Literally, TELEM is about heading down a “path” of sorts and we think this years’ experience with service and social justice has begun or continued this commitment for many of the students. And as many of you will be helping your soon to be B’nai Mitzvot choose community service projects, Hearthstone , and the whole experience there, may be something to keep in mind as this discussion progresses. Please feel free to ask your own questions about the experience and what your children may have taken away from the day.
Thank you all again for helping to make this day so special!