SARASOTA, Fla. – Twenty-two third and fourth grade students at Temple Beth Sholom Schools (www.tbsschools.org), a Sarasota preschool to eighth grade private school, recently designed, built, decorated and donated a sukkah to the residents of Kobernick-Anchin-Benderson.
The children were empowered to design and build the 9-feet by 12-feet sukkah, a temporary hut constructed for use during the weeklong Jewish festival of Sukkot. Made of lumber with a roof, legs and lattice, the students used tools, such as drills, bolts, hammers and screws, to build the Sukkah on the front lawn of Anchin Pavilion, the assisted living, skilled nursing and rehabilitation center on the campus.
The students took a two-hour learning expedition to Kobernick-Anchin-Benderson to erect and donate the sukkah to its residents. About 25 residents gathered to watch the children and adults erect and install the sukkah. Young and old decorated the sukkah together during L’Dor VaDor: generation-to-generation celebration.
“At TBS Schools, part of our mission statement is to be compassionate and take action,” said Robin Sweeting, assistant director at Temple Beth Sholom Schools. “We try to tie in community outreach aspects into our curriculum because it instills a sense of community service and it’s these kinds of opportunities and moments the children will never forget.”
Anchin Pavilion residents, who thoroughly enjoyed engaging with the children, came with their own decorations. Many reminisced about their own heart-warming childhood memories. Residents Pearl Goodman and Betty Anderson each participated. Anderson made paper chains with the third and fourth graders while Goodman, an artist, sketched the children decorating, later gifting it to a student.
Daniel Michaels, a science teacher at TBS Schools, brought the idea to the administrative team. He knew the children would enjoy building something they could cherish and would make a lasting difference.
“We were delighted to have the students from Temple Beth Sholom Schools on our campus to build and decorate a Sukkah on the front lawn of Anchin Pavilion,” said Heidi Brown, the CEO of Kobernick-Anchin-Benderson. “Both the children and our residents were all smiles as they brought the sukkah to life with festive decorations. It is very meaningful for our residents to have a connection with children, and the residents are able to reminisce and share stories of their own traditions from their childhood. Younger children naturally evoke wonderful memories and happy times, and we look forward to sharing more projects with the TBS Schools’ students in the future.”
Sukkot, a biblical Jewish holiday, begins October 8 and runs for a full week. It is one of the Three Pilgrimage Festivals on which the Israelites would make a pilgrimage to the Temple in Jerusalem.
The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee provided all the materials and transportation for this service-learning opportunity. The nonprofit provided funding through a generous grant, which provides opportunities like this one for the TBS Schools’ students to participate in projects throughout the community.
About TBS Schools
Temple Beth Sholom (TBS), a Sarasota preschool to 8th grade private school, is open to all faiths and established its preschool program in 1974. TBS Schools has been in its current building located at 1050 S. Tuttle Avenue, Sarasota, Fla. since January 1988. The Justin Lee Wiesner preschool program consists of classes for baby play and children up to 4 years of age. The Goldie Feldman Academy (GFA) was founded in 1992 as an expansion of the Justin Lee Wiesner Preschool. It has continued to grow and flourish under the careful guidance of the administration, dedicated teachers, volunteer leadership, staff and the demand for excellence from its parents. At GFA, TBS Schools nurtures the whole child as one who is capable of an infinite amount of possibilities. The caring and qualified staff is committed to helping each student reach his/her full potential. The Goldie Feldman Academy at Temple Beth Sholom is the only private Jewish school in Sarasota and Manatee Counties. Justin Lee Wiesner Preschool is accredited by Florida Kindergarten Council. Goldie Feldman Academy is accredited by the Florida Kindergarten Council and the Florida Council of Independent Schools. For more information, visit www.tbsschools.org.
Kobernick-Anchin-Benderson is Sarasota’s only leased apartment home providing all levels of living on the same campus: independent and assisted living, secure memory care, skilled nursing and rehabilitation. On a beautiful 27-acre woodland preserve, the community offers an enriching lifestyle in spacious apartments, fine dining and compassionate care founded on Jewish family values. For more information, visit https://kobernickanchin.org.