We put it in writing. Better Together keeps getting better.

August 10, 2019

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Better Together is a partnership program that connects teens with seniors for mutual enrichment and bonding opportunities. Throughout this past year, participating teens from Ohef Sholom Temple, Congregation Beth El, and Temple Israel spent Sundays eating lunch and making friends with seniors from Beth Sholom Village.

Sophia Allen.

Sophia Allen.

On Tuesday, June 2, program director Leslie Shroyer hosted a catered lunch at the Village to celebrate the program’s strong third-year finish and feature its highlights.

An opening prayer by Rabbi Rosalin Mandelberg and Cantor Jen Reuben was followed by Rabbi Roz’s praise for the program’s success in seeding new friendships between teens and seniors that flourish over time.

Ohef Sholom student Sophia Allen received a medal for her prize-winning essay which she read at the closing ceremony—and prior to that at the synagogue’s annual congregational meeting to honor leadership and plan future programs. Allen’s essay expressed her delight in learning how much she and her new senior friend had in common. Her story about the richness that comes from these unexpected friendships is the foundation of Better Together and why the program is expected to get better and bigger next year.

Ohef Sholom Temple spearheaded Better Together to offer psycho-social benefits to teens and seniors. This year, Congregation Beth El and Temple Israel became program partners.

Thanks to Rabbi Mandelberg, Cantor Jen Reuben, the OST Men’s Club and Sisterhood, Rabbi Michael Panitz (his scrapbooking session was a big hit), Rabbi Jeff Arnowitz, and Cantor Wendi Fried for their support throughout the year.

Special thanks to Beth Sholom Village for their generosity, and for providing food and transportation for students.

The National Foundation provided funds for the essay winner and other resources.

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