By Kaira, Jane & Mimi
Every Monday for the Tzedek Tefillah a group of twenty middle school students walk over to Alma Via. Alma Via is an assisted living home for the elderly about a block away from Brandeis. At about 10 o’clock every Monday, we spend about thirty minutes meeting in the living room with many elderly people. When we go to Alma Via we sit in pairs and talk with the elderly about their history, our lives and about anything that comes to our minds. It is so rewarding talking to them and doing art projects. We can do so much in just the thirty minutes we are there with them, and over time they almost feel like grandparents to us. We make paper flowers, write poems, talk about resolutions, tell stories, and do so many fun things with them.
One lady named Barbara is the most inspirational women I have ever met. She is an author and has written many books, only a few months a go she wrote a book that got over 3 million dollars! Her stories lighten up our days and it is amazing how a paralyzed woman can be so positive and light hearted.
Another elderly woman that our small group talked to was an elderly widow who was so nervous to meet us, because she had never experienced having grandchildren or talking to us before. We made flowers with her in her favorite color lavender, and we talked on and on about the Warriors and the recent games. When we asked her who her favorite player was she said “Curry of course!” When it was time to leave she asked us to sign the flowers that we made for her with our names and the date so that she could show all of her friends what we made for her. Then the next session two weeks later we came up to her and she said, “Are you Kaira, Jane and Mimi?” We were amazed that she had remembered our three names after meeting her only once two weeks ago!
Another fun experience was when I was volunteering there on my own. She had asked me if I was catholic, because she had said she was and I said that I was Jewish. Then she says “We are still friends right?” This was so funny and cute and I responded “Of course!” Later she asked me to sing the Aleph-bet to all of the residents, and of course I could not say no.
She is such an amazing person and we cannot wait to continue spending time with her and the rest of the community at Alma Via for the next couple of weeks. Alma Via is such an amazing home. We love going to visit them every Monday and hope we can see them more often than just during our weekly Tefillah.
Here is the blog article that Alma Via wrote about this amazing intergenerational experience.