Author Archives: admin

Intergenerational Relationships

By Jeni Hollander

The current older population is living and staying active longer
than any previous generation has before.  This provides special
opportunities for younger generations to take advantage of their
contact and relations with older adults.

Tutor Ben Packman teaching Cookie Hollander in the Tablet Tutor Class at Covenant Place.

Tutor Ben Packman teaching Cookie Hollander in the Tablet Tutor class at Covenant Place.

While intergenerational relationships provide many benefits for both participants, there are some barriers that can make this relationship initially seem challenging.  Because each generation grows up during a different time period with different trends and values, people can find it hard to relate to or understand people of a different generation than their own.  Many adolescents and young adults, who feel their knowledge is more
contemporary, may not respect the relevancy of their elders.  It’s important for the younger generations to acknowledge the benefits that can be derived from the unique relationship they can have with older adults.

Intergenerational relationships are a two-way street.  Each has different things they can teach one another.  As adolescents become more aware of the world they live in, older generations can fascinate them with stories of how the world was when they were growing up.  They can tell them of the things that went on and the activities they partook in when they were their age.  They can connect through the differences they experienced by comparing them and telling stories.

Resident Natalie Kunin’ says “talking to the young kids about what they’re doing in school, their families at home, and asking other questions about their life” is what she enjoys about interacting with kids during programs at Covenant Place.  Since residents are mainly around people of their own age group during their daily life, having people of different ages come to Covenant Place and simply conversing with them is refreshing.

Likewise, younger generations can do a lot for their elders.  As technology advances, the younger generation can keep their elders up to date on iPhones, iPads, computers, and Facebook.  The Tablet Tutor program at Covenant Place has teens come in to teach older adults how to use an iPad and smartphone.  Zeze Burch, a teen tutor from Camp Emeth, says her favorite part about the program is “to be able to teach them new things because I like learning new things.”  This program gives the younger generation a chance to exercise their knowledge on something the older adults have barely seen in their lifetime.

Besides technology, current trends and lingo can also be explained or clarified to enable older adults to stay up to date and connected with younger people.  As the current older generation is staying active and healthy into their later years, they can participate in physical and lively activities with younger generations, helping both young and old to stay invigorated and energized.

Though younger children and older adults have the biggest gap in age, interaction between the two can provide unique benefits unlike any other type of relationship.  Establishing connections and relationships between generations helps to assures that history will be kept alive, generations will be able to effectively communicate with one another, and that young and old will benefit from shared knowledge and companionship.

Senior Prom at Covenant Place

Written by Jeni Hollander

On the evening of Sunday, June 1st, residents of Covenant Place, as well as  family members, friends, and volunteers gathered at Covenant Place to attend the annual Senior Prom, themed, “Meet Me in St. Louis.”

Prom attendees were dressed up for the special event, as one would their high school prom; earlier in the day, residents were pampered with hair styling, makeup artistry and manicures.  Covenant Place described it as, “Everything you remember about your High School Prom with more dessert and less angst!”

This description proved accurate as volunteers, including the Young Professionals Division (YPD) of the Jewish Federation of St. Louis, served attendees from the bountiful array of sweet treats. Young adults and young at heart older adults gathered on the dance floor to move to the great music provided by DJ, Big Papa G.

Along with the dancing, there were various activities at the Prom.  Attendees of all ages enjoyed the photo booth, line dances played by the DJ, a crowning of the prom king and queen, and a whipped cream eating contest in which several residents participated!

Throughout the evening, drawings were held, and gift baskets boasting a variety of items from restaurant certificates to a basket filled with international items were presented to the winners.  The last and very exciting giveaway was an attendance prize- a 32” flat screen television!

The Senior Prom was a joyous event where residents of Covenant Place, young adults, children and community members all enjoyed a night of fun.  The evening flew by due to all of the entertainment and great refreshments.   The event provided a chance for attendees to reminisce about their high school prom. Some commented they had never been to a prom when they were young, and some said that they had more fun at this prom then when they were in high school.

A big thank you to the Jewish Federation’s YPD for sponsoring the event, and to all the volunteers for their generous help!

Nine Network Comes to Covenant Place

Written by Jeni Hollander

The morning of Wednesday, May 28th, a film crew from the Nine Network came to Covenant Place to film activities and interviews highlighting the future building redevelopment plans of Covenant Place. The crew is producing a video that will be shown on June 26, 2014 when Covenant Place will be honored at the annual St. Louis Planned Giving Council Legacy Awards.

Before the activities began, members of the Nine Network gathered in a room to set up chairs, lighting, and sound for the interviews that would be held there.  During this time, they discussed how they wanted to film the Chair Yoga Session and the Covenant Choral Practice.

First, they filmed Chair Yoga.  The instructor, Larry Glass, who holds sessions twice a week at Covenant Place, urged his participants to disregard the cameras and extra spectators and to focus on the importance of self and spirit.  He continued with his ritual yoga exercises.

The interviews were held after footage of the Yoga Session was complete.  The production crew interviewed Harvey Hieken, a World War II veteran and important donor to Covenant Place.  He spoke of his involvement in Covenant Place and his wishes for the new Covenant Place building, which will be located in the lot across from the current Covenant Place.

The next interview was with Joan Denison, Executive Director of Covenant Place.  She elaborated more on the plans for the new building, and the functions and role of the organization itself.  The interviews were wrapped up with shots of Hieken and Denison discussing plans for the new building together.

To conclude their day at Covenant Place, the Nine Network crew filmed the Covenant Chorale Practice, a choir group that meets every Wednesday, directed by Robert Denison, in which a number of residents and community members are involved.  They rehearsed for an upcoming performance with a set of six songs from various musicals.  As a part of the set, a different member would introduce each song before the whole group chimed in with their lovely and lively sound.

Channel Nine’s visit to Covenant Place gave great attention to the hopes and plans for the new building, as well as just a few of many of the activities residents and nonresidents alike take advantage of at Covenant Place.

Carol Axelrod lives the good life at Covenant Place

Written by Mia Kweskincarol axelrod HS

Carol Axelrod uses two words to describe her experience at Covenant House—fun and friends.

“I have made so many wonderful friends.  If you hear two people in your hallway talking you open your door and you join them.  I just say all the time how much I love it here and people will always say well why? It’s that I don’t have to leave if I don’t want to—there is something every single day—there’s knitting, there’s Yiddish class, there’s exercises—there’s just always something you can do.”

For Axelrod, location is key, because St. Louis has always been home.  Many of her friends today are people she met in school or knew from other schools around the area.

“My husband and I actually went to the same grade school but he was two years older then me, and he told me he was always walking like a block behind me,” Axelrod said.

Axelrod says she enjoys her outings with her longtime friends whether it be to one of their favorite restaurants like Spiros, First Watch, or the Cheesecake Factory, or a jaunt to Alton, Missouri to explore Josephine’s.

“I have so many friends and we’re always doing something,” Axelrod said.  “Sometimes we go to Josephine’s in Alton.  It’s really a lady’s tea room.  They have rooms and rooms and rooms where they sell all sorts of things—jewelry, and purses, and clothing.  You can always find something there, always.”

Throughout her life, Axelrod has stayed true to her love of Mahjong, another way she has made many of her friends.  She started right after she got married in 1957 and still plays three times a week.

“A lot of it is luck but a lot of it is brains, you have to think a little bit, and it’s also social, you play with people you like,” Axelrod said.  “I’m in three different groups and I get called to fill in for other groups.  It’s just a game you play for money, not a lot, and it’s just fun, like ‘Hey look at this great hand I made.’”

Besides Mahjong and trips to Josephine’s, Axelrod also participates in many activities and events within Covenant House.  She enjoys the Friday afternoon movies and any kind of performances.

“There are so many things that people do that I don’t even do yet like there’s some kind of musical bells people play.  I haven’t participated yet but I’m thinking about that,” Axelrod said.

Axelrod has also participated in the Covenant House Fashion Show.  Residents were invited to the Jewish Federation’s re-sell shop to pick out stylish outfits for the Fashion Show Each model invited guests to watch them as they walked the runway.

“Some of my friends came, my kids came that could, my grandkids came that could and it was so much fun, I mean we just had a blast with it, we really did.  They made up a little ‘And here’s Carol, she’s on her way to the opera’ or something like that,” Axelrod said.

Whether it’s strutting along the catwalk or playing a great game of Mahjong, Axelrod keeps herself active and smiling at Covenant House.

“It’s like your own little home here,” Axelrod said.