New Partnership Brings DOROT Young Professional Volunteers to Celebrate with Elderly

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Volunteers visit socially isolated and frail seniors in honor of Israel Independence Day

DOROT's Young Professionals Leadership Circle

For the older adults, it is a chance to give their younger visitors the benefit of experiences they are especially able to appreciate, and to bond across the generations over mutual values.

Through a new partnership between DOROT and the Jewish Community Center (JCC) in Manhattan - Birthright Passport, homebound and socially isolated older adults will celebrate Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israel Independence Day, with younger volunteers on Sunday, April 14. DOROT seniors who have a connection to Israel will be matched with young adults who recently participated in the Birthright Israel program, which sponsors first-time peer group visits to Israel for Jewish young adults ages 18 to 26.

The initiative, convened by The JCC in Manhattan in collaboration with and funded by UJA-Federation of New York, is called Bringing Israel Home. It is chaired by members of DOROT’s Young Professionals Leadership Circle, a group of volunteers in their 20s and 30s—including several Birthright alumni—who work together on intergenerational programs that keep older adults connected to the community.

Volunteers will visit homebound DOROT seniors who are either Israeli-born or were raised in Israel or pre-State Palestine, speak Hebrew, and/or have spent extensive time in Israel. The volunteers will receive an orientation prior to their visit and will bring with them a package of Israeli goods to commemorate the occasion. The event will encourage seniors and volunteers to discuss their respective experiences and to share their Israel photos and memories.

“We are delighted to provide these young adults with an opportunity to share their newfound enthusiasm about Israel and Jewish peoplehood with like-minded seniors,” said DOROT Executive Director Mark Meridy. “For the older adults, it is a chance to give their younger visitors the benefit of experiences they are especially able to appreciate, and to bond across the generations over mutual values.”

An additional opportunity to observe Israel’s 65th birthday will take place on the evening of Tuesday, April 16th, during the JCC in Manhattan’s community-wide Yom Ha’atzmaut celebration. Volunteers will escort DOROT seniors who are interested in participating to a special concert featuring Israeli artists.

DOROT, a non-profit social service organization, alleviates social isolation among the elderly and provides services to help them live independently as valued members of the community. We serve the Jewish and wider community, bringing the generations together in a mutually beneficial partnership of elders, volunteers and professionals. Our work provides an effective model for others.

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Catherine DiTuri
DOROT
917-441-3745
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