Intergenerational Programs

Enriching Lives Across Generations

Through the Adam and Matan Adelson Multigenerational Program, Hebrew SeniorLife bridges generations, linking senior residents and patients with students from the community to forge impactful, meaningful relationships. Operating across Hebrew SeniorLife’s continuum of care and in partnership with a variety of schools and youth organizations, our programming is uniquely designed to support the needs of old and young alike. Seniors find a strong sense of purpose and companionship through engagement with the students, who learn the value of service while gaining a deeper understanding of the rich lives and experiences of older adults.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve introduced remote intergenerational programming using technology to foster powerful small group connections. We will welcome young people back onto our campuses when it is safe to do so, and anticipate offering a robust combination of in-person and virtual opportunities.

Hebrew SeniorLife has been recognized for the quality of our intergenerational programs, including being honored as a Program of Distinction by Generations United. By breaking barriers between young and old, Hebrew SeniorLife is fostering new frontiers in compassionate, world-class care while enhancing the lives of all participants.

Learn more with this video showcasing Lynda Doctoroff Bussgang, Director of Volunteer, Youth, and Community Engagement.

 

Intergenerational Programming

Take a look at a sampling of the types of programming offered by the Adam and Matan Adelson Multigenerational Program:

  • Alzheimer’s Buddies: Weekly one-on-one visits between Harvard and Boston College students and dementia patients, with each student engaging the same senior throughout the school year.
  • Preschool Programs: Willow Path Preschool, Little Voices of Hyde Park, Children's Music Center, and the Temple Beth Shalom Preschool bring the youngest and oldest community members together for music, reading, art projects, and heart-warming interaction.
  • Middle and High School Service Programs: Students from Dedham High School, Noble and Greenough School, Jewish Community Day School, Temple Beth Elohim, and others regularly visit to participate in enrichment programs and build relationships with patients.
  • Performance Series: Students from Boston University School of Music, New England Conservatory, area a capella groups, and individual music students and entertainers share their talents regularly.
  • Performances: By a cappella groups and musicians from the New England Conservatory, Boston Conservatory, From the Top, and individual youth performers.
  • School and Community Partners:  Partnerships include Boston University Hillel, Florida Ruffin Ridley Elementary School, Buckingham, Browne and Nichols School, Harvard University
  • Making Memories: Weekly one-on-one visits between middle school students from the neighboring Rashi School and residents in memory care.
  • Rashi School Programming: Over 74 programs each year with students in grades K-8 and residents in independent and assisted living, and patients in long-term chronic care. Independent living residents volunteer regularly with younger students at the school.
  • Dedham Public Schools: High school students meet with seniors weekly, providing companionship and conversation. Independent living residents join classrooms virtually at the Dedham Early Childhood Education Center, reading stories and engaging with students. 
  • Individual Volunteers: More than 40 individual students participate in one-on-one visits and interactive virtual programs with patients and residents across the campus.
  • Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech: Residents meet with hearing impaired youth to help them develop listening and language skills.
  • Canton Mom's Club: Moms and their children participate in holiday festivities and guided programs with residents.

In the past, we’ve enjoyed partnerships with the Epstein Hillel School, Whelan Elementary, and Garfield Middle School. We look forward to resuming these relationships and building new ones.

  • Curry College Nursing Program: An intergenerational class called “The Nursing Care of Older Adults” has become a national model for nurse training and intergenerational innovation.
  • Service Programs: With Milton Academy, Noble and Greenough, Temple Chayai Shalom, and other schools; includes weekly student lunch visits, annual on-site community service program days, and a variety of other special programs.
An eighth grader with braided pigtails holds up a tablet as she shares a conversation in Spanish with a memory care patient.

Volunteer With Seniors

We invite students middle school age and older for ongoing work with patients and residents. We can personalize a rewarding experience for your bar/bat mitzvah, scouting, or other community service project.

Lynda Bussgang, HSL Multigenerational Program Manager, tosses a ball during an intergenerational activity.

Meet the Director

Lynda Doctoroff Bussgang is director of Volunteer, Youth, and Community Engagement. She oversees and develops intergenerational programs for all of Hebrew SeniorLife’s campuses. Lynda is a graduate of Harvard College and the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Forging Friendships. Enriching Lives.

Intergenerational programs are offered on all Hebrew SeniorLife campuses.