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This is why I love the National-Religious community in Israel.
Recently, the 21-year-old son of a neighbor of mine called together some of the teenagers from the neighborhood. Most of them are/were madrichim in local youth movements such as Ariel, which teaches them to lead people in various projects. He said to them, "OK: you're going to do something that has major impact. Figure out what." So these teenagers put their heads together to think what they could do. And they came up with: Sabavta!
"Sabavta" is a contraction of Saba and Savta. The tagline is mechubarim ledorot, "connected for generations." It's a project that brings together teenagers and the elderly. The teenagers bring tables, chairs, food (including a stove to make hot drinks), and board games to the park. There, they meet with elderly residents of the neighborhood to play, eat, chat and have fun together!
As my 16-year-old daughter, who is an Ariel madricha, explained to me: "There used to be a stigma about special-needs children; everyone's gotten over that. But there's still something of a stigma about the elderly. So we are working to overcome that and encourage teens to spend time with the elderly."
My dear mother, who is 82 years old, had absolutely zero interest in going. But my daughter dragged her there, and she had the most amazing time. She was so impressed at how the teenagers were so friendly and attentive; one of them even went home to get milk so that she could have a British cup of tea!
Sabavta (see their FaceBook page here) started last week in Ramat Beit Shemesh and is already spreading to other cities in Israel. And Ariel is just one of the many National Religious institutions here in Israel that focus on character development, on Am Yisrael, and on making the world a better place for everyone. Ashrecha Yisrael!