RIVER VALE, N.J. -- Valley Chabad recently kicked off the fifth year of its Linking Hearts program, which pairs local preteens and teens with residents of the Jewish Home, in River Vale, for an afternoon.
"It was so impressive to see the young teens interact and work together with the residents," said Rabbi Yosef Orenstein, the program's director. "It was clear they all thoroughly enjoyed the experience."
Sixth- through eighth-grade youth are paired with seniors and they bond while learning more about Jewish traditions and upcoming holidays, through games and crafts.
Eighteen youth participated in the most recent session. Together with residents, they began with the Rosh Hashana honey dish project for dipping the apple in honey, a Rosh Hashanah custom. The event concluded with a Rosh Hashana memory game.
Rachel Klien, Woodcliff Lake seventh-grader, said, "This was one of the first opportunities I had to spend time with seniors, and I loved every minute of it!"
Linking Hearts is open to middle-school Jewish children throughout the area, regardless of affiliation or membership.
The next session will be Thursday, Oct. 6, from 3:45-5 p.m. at the Jewish Home. To sign up or for more info, please call Valley Chabad at 201-476-0157, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website.