Our society embraces the young and tends to minimize – or overlook – significant past and current contributions that seniors and aging loved ones have made to their family, community and society. There is often a wide gap between the generations. When the younger generation asks "Ma Nishtana?" at the Passover seder, it is a key moment in Jewish tradition because our collective memory is being relayed from generation to generation. Telling a personal story can often bridge the gap between the younger and older generations, enabling seniors to share their family and community's collective Jewish history that is replete with traditions, memories, knowledge and moving stories.
G2G: Generation to Generation is a program whereby two different generations are linked via high tech and history. It is based on a successful Israeli initiative undertaken by Beit Hatfutsot–The Museum of the Jewish People, in cooperation with the Israeli Ministries of Education and Senior Citizens*. Jewish students are paired with Jewish seniors for mutually beneficial learning. The seniors broaden their Internet and computer skills, while the young students learn the value of personal and collective narratives. Together they enrich their Jewish identity, history, collective memory and technical skills.
G2G has been instituted at over 250 schools throughout Israel, reaching more than 6,000 participants annually. It addresses intergenerational relations and tolerance, ageism in the community, and Jewish peoplehood. The students and seniors meet regularly in a school or community setting, where the students help the seniors broaden their Internet and computer skills, while the seniors introduce the students to their life stories – their background, values and heritage. Each student-senior pair together documents a chapter in the fascinating story of the Jewish people, which is then posted online as part of the Beit Hatfutsot - The Museum of the Jewish People's collection of the greater ongoing story of the Jewish people.
Building on its success in Israel, this valuable program is now available in the North American Jewish community. ISJPS is also adapting G2G for use in other worldwide Jewish communities, with the power to connect generations within the Jewish people.
• Creates intergenerational dialogue, tolerance and mutual learning.
• Connects the younger generation to the Jewish community - via individual Jewish narratives and the greater ongoing story of the Jewish people. Through personal encounters with seniors, students learn about childhoods, family customs, Jewish communities and organizations directly from "living witnesses."
• Documents vanishing life stories and previously untold "chapters of history."
• Bridges the technological gap between the older and younger generations.
• Encourages senior involvement and activity.
• Reinforces values such as tolerance, volunteerism, young leadership, and Tsedakah.
• Builds and strengthens school & community teamwork.
• Links and networks Jewish schools in the global Jewish community.
*The original program is called הקשר הרב דורי - "Hakesher Harav Dori"