One of Hillel’s longest-standing programs is Dor L’Dor, which brings sixth graders into contact with area senior residents through a series of meetings, culminating in a “back to school” day for the seniors at Hillel. Before meeting their senior friends, students undergo sensitivity training with Jewish Senior Life, spending a day becoming aware of the physical frailties that sometimes accompany aging. The program, which touches upon many of Hillel’s core Jewish values, is a highlight of sixth grade, as students and seniors develop ties that frequently last beyond the school year.
Our fourth graders learn that not all lives unfold in the same manner as they immerse themselves in a disability awareness workshop each year, approximating life with a speech, learning or physical impairment. In this way, the notion that we are all created B'Tzelem Elohim, in the image of God, is reinforced. Students develop empathy, and an understanding of how difficult it can be to navigate daily life for an individual with a disability, and how enriching it is to interact with people of all abilities.