When the wisdom of age is mixed with the energy of youth, it creates a powerful combination that benefits everyone. - Donna Butts Generations United
I love this quote that I found on the Live Well SD Intergenerational Programs Directory website. Intergenerational learning is “the way that people of all ages can learn together and from each other to gain skills, values and knowledge.” In the world of American Jewish Day schools we often experience intergenerational learning when we participate in a Grandparents Day event or when we witness the relationships that day school children often make with residents of a seniors facility. These types of partnerships are so meaningful to all involved, because the moments we spend in intergenerational interactions leads us to transcend the present and create connections between the elusive past and incogitable future, creating timeless memories.
Society has become hyper individualized reflected in the “i” trend which started with the release of the iMac, August 15, 1998. This has generated tremendous benefits, but, like Spider-Man likes to say, “with great power comes great responsibility”. Technology offers us so much power and knowledge, yet, can also close us off from creating face-to-face personal and communal relationships. Jewish Interactive is committed to using technology to deepen the Jewish educational experience and help us make global connections as well as strengthen our face-to-face interactions in our homes, schools and communities.
Our intergenerational programming is one of the ways in which we achieve this goal. In a world where we see the news that we care about, the posts that we like and the “friends” that we follow, our interactions with people who are different from us is limited. What about all those other interactions that are not tailored to who we are and the website we most visit, but that expand our consciousness and depth of perception to the plurality of existing perspectives. Due to this narrowing of our social and intellectual interactions “generations frequently becoming distanced or segregated from one another, particularly younger and older people. This separation can lead to unrealistic, negative stereotypes between generations and a decrease in positive exchanges between them”. (what-is-intergenerational-learning) This is unfortunate as the core of life’s experiences never change. The older population love the potential, vitality and spontaneity of youth and children appreciate the focussed patience, attention and wisdom that seniors have to offer. Participating in iIntergenerational iLearning breaks down the walls of generational dissonance and opens the door for a world of valuable encounters.
Jewish Interactive participates in creating spaces for intergenerational learning through running Ji Tap
workshops. We use the timeless knowledge of Torah and Jewish knowledge to engage both generations in a meaningful dialogue. Using Ji Tap the intergenerational hevrutah (learning partners) gamifies (makes a game from) their deepened understanding of the chosen topic, and together create a Jewish, interactive, intergenerational, game.
We recently ran a workshop for students from the Kellman Brown Academy in NJ, and their senior partners from Lion’s Gate. It was so beautiful to see how they worked together and inspired each other. While making their Ji Tap game, everyone involved had something to teach and something to learn. All groups enjoyed themselves and made creative educational games that they were able to share with friends and family.
If you are interested in running a Ji Tap Intergenerational Workshop in your school or community, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.