HAFTR 3d graders find links in gen-to-gen event


Love in the air as HAFTR Lower School presented its “Generation to Generation, M’dor L’dor” program

Third graders journeyed back in time to uncover family stories. They also learned valuable lessons in the power of storytelling and that with the passing of generations, stories can be kept alive and passed down with the use of artifacts, objects, documents and photographs.

The students displayed their artwork, which featured a photograph of a family artifact, along with a picture of the family member to whom the artifact belonged. The artwork also featured a handmade “coat of arms” on a metal shield.  

Students not only learned stories of their own families, but were able to learn family stories of their classmates as well. Proud smiles lit up the room as the third-graders sang songs about continuing the rich heritage of their grandparents.

The children sang to the tune of “A Million Dreams,” with lyrics describing the Jewish homes that they will one day build as well as their love for their grandparents. These original lyrics, written by HAFTR’s music teacher, Janet Goldman and her husband Ronald Goldman, captured the essence of the evening: grandparents are the grandchildren’s link to the past and grandchildren are grandparents’ link to the future.

“Boys and girls, the people who are sitting here, watching you, are multi-generations: parents, grandparents and great-grandparents. There were times not that long ago, where parents didn’t even know their grandparents. It is such a bracha to have them sit in our audience,” said Joy Hammer, HAFTR Lower School’s principal. “We are so fortunate to have so many grandparents here with us today.”

“This program is all about keeping your families’ memories alive,” added Tova Zucker, HAFTR Lower School’s assistant principal.

Families viewed the gallery of student works and walked through memory lane with their children as they saw faces from the past accompanied by personalized bronze etchings created by the students. 

“We asked our students where their families came from, whether they are a Kohen or Levi, Ashkenazic or Sephardic, and to find out more so they can get connected to it and think about how to create their specific works,” said Royce Maron, HAFTR’s Lower School art teacher, who has been part of this project for nine years.

HAFTR parent Stacey Zrihen said this was her fifth Generation to Generation event and last one, at least for this generation of her children. “It’s the same idea each year but it’s also new and different for each person. It’s a wonderful program,” she said.

Charlotte Dachs, great-grandmother to Daniel Abrahams, said that “it’s a zechus and pleasure for me to be here and see all the work they did. They even featured one of me!” There was a photograph of Daniel holding a doily crafted by Mrs. Dachs’ grandmother which was brought over to America from Poland in the early 1900s. Grandparent, Harvey Dachs, former HAFTR president, and wife Shelley Dachs said, “It’s an even greater zechus for Daniel to have her here.”  

“I’m not which way I looked to get more nachat — was it looking at the boys and girls or was it looking at your very proud faces,” said Ms. Hammer.