You may call them Savta, Opa, or maybe Grandma. Whatever name they go by, the first “intergenerational day” at Bnos Malka Academy in Forest Hills was a huge success! Throngs of aunts, uncles, and cousins as well as venerated grandparents participated. The third- and fourth-graders and their various relatives and family friends had a wonderful time at this program designed to bring the generations closer. After spending so much time learning about hachnasas orchim and kibud av v’eim, talmidos were eager to show their hakaros hatov by welcoming their special guests who play such an important role in their lives.
The day began with warm words of welcome from Rabbi Weichselbaum, the menahel, as well as greetings by director of student affairs Rabbi Simcha Loiterman. Rabbi Weichselbaum stressed the important role that yeshivas play in providing a safeguard against the enticements of Olam HaZeh. Everyone then proceeded downstairs to the gym where the students were eagerly waiting. Together the students and their relatives participated in five different stations, each one designed to enable the students to learn from and about the older generation. Each family posed at a professional photography station to capture the love and excitement of the day. At the family tree station, the girls constructed, with their relatives’ help, an adorable tri-generational family tree to gain a deeper understanding of their lineage. Other workshops included a “you and me t-shirt” station with each pair working together to create something they both would wear, and an interview station allowing the girls to learn about what school was like when their relatives attended and what their favorite subjects were. This helped foster a love of learning while helping the girls realize that learning never ends! The final and most delicious station was a brownie decorating station and this helped teach the lesson that school can be not only fun and interesting but sweet too.
All activities were carefully prepared, ensuring that everyone had a great time and that the bond grew between the participants. So much fun was had by all that several grandparents lamented the fact that when they were growing up their schools did not offer such innovative programs. Bnos Malka was thankful that so many family members were able to join to see how excited the girls are about learning, to witness the hands on, warm, and unique approach to education, and to share in the nachas. This was a day enjoyed by all and Bnos Malka hopes it enhanced the lives of the greater Bnos Malka family while creating memories the students will remember fondly for years to come. v