Young And Old Together – That’s What Community Is All About!

At the end of May there was an incredibly inspiring event at Temple Sinai which was astonishingly wonderful. I did not even attend this event, I was actually the other side of the wall from it, but I was inspired nevertheless because of what it said about building a true community. The event in question was the kick-off session to an intergenerational cooking course, entitled “Plotz & Pans”, run by Ilana Shapiro, Sarah Stewart, Jackie & Shel Kolner.

The idea was to bring grandparents and parents, kids and grandkids together to cook Jewish food and learn about its origins. I was pretty envious of the forty or so people in the other room even though I also enjoyed our more traditional Shavuot celebration in the sanctuary. What did I love about it? Firstly, it was engaging people. Everyone eats and has an interest in food, so the event started with that and then brought some learning thereafter. Secondly, it was oversubscribed. There was a waiting list and the organizers had to squeeze people in. Lastly, it was different generations together.

That’s a true community, when young and old and everyone in between work together, live together, cook together and learn together. Too many times in our society the generations are disconnected. The young don’t listen or acknowledge the experience of the old and the old don’t understand or dismiss the fresh perspective of the young. Here, it was everyone mucking in together without a bit of tension. I can’t wait for the next installment of “Plotz & Pans”, so I can work and learn next to my kids. Feel free to join me…..if there’s space!!


Rabbi Malcolm Cohen

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