Tali Bar, CEO of the Mediterranean Towers Jerusalem:
“Our residents are at the heart of the activities in the Jerusalem Mediterranean Towers. Our role is to provide them the professional tools and the right and high-quality platforms to continue doing things that are of interest, continue to create, to initiate, to learn, to discover new things, and to continually add many more good experiences all the time”. Bar added, “The perception of life in the communities at the Mediterranean Towers has changed over the years and we are proud to be leaders and pioneers in this field. Today we establish the frameworks and activities according to the needs and desires of our residents and not as was customary in the past and it was prevalent to try to make the elderly fit into existing and predefined frameworks. Today, our residents take initiative, constantly wanting to discover and experience new things and fulfill their dreams, and it seems that their peak is still ahead”.
Let us make a brief introduction to several activities led by our residents: Languages Studies
Language studies at the Jerusalem Mediterranean Towers have gained momentum in recent years and have become popular and in demand among our residents, who constantly want to deepen and enrich their knowledge even in languages that are not their original mother tongue. The mix of residents in the Mediterranean Towers in Jerusalem is diverse and heterogeneous and you can find residents from Jerusalem and all over Israel, alongside residents who came from the USA and Europe.
Residents, who serve themselves as the teachers to other residents and the staff, lead the language studies program. For example, our resident Ruth Josephson opened a Hebrew studio in the compound, where she teaches Hebrew to the Anglo-Saxon residents. We also opened another Hebrew course for beginners that is open not only for our residents but also to the elderly community outside the Towers (aged 70+). In addition, our resident Bat-Sheva Huppert taught Hebrew to the staff working at the Towers. Another resident, Janice Rothman, taught English to the staff and currently she teaches English to residents who wish to strengthen and improve the language.
Among the various fields of study at the Towers, as part of the Mediterranean Towers media school, "Mekusharim", the residents study communication and journalism, even at the age of 70, 80 and 90 years old. The “students” receive practical tools for writing, photography, podcasts and content editing, and they also receive the opportunity to be exposed to the behind the scenes of the Israeli media. The students who participated in the communication studies got to practice what they have learned when they became the ones who lead the writing and editing of the Mediterranean Towers newspaper, which is distributed to all the residents. For example, the residents, are a significant part of the publication of the newspaper, starting with creating of interesting content, receiving the materials from the residents, performing the editing work, and designing its graphics. In addition, the resident Shelli Mashiach, one of the active residents in the Towers, after completing her communication studies, became a regular reporter in the national network newspaper of the Mediterranean Towers, and she regularly provides fascinating articles on various topics.
If we mentioned writing and editing, we must mention also the residents that are currently responsible for writing and editing the Tower’s new community book, a project led by our resident, who came up with the idea. The community book, which compiles the essence of the life story of each of our residents, is a fascinating and exciting documentary project about the life journey that the residents have gone through until today. The job of interviewing and collecting personal materials is led by a team of residents who interview in detail each of our residents. Wirshup leads the team, and she is responsible of the task of collecting the materials, editing and collaborating with the printing house on the production of the book. The new community book will be completed in the near future, and there is definitely something to look forward to.
In addition, the residents also take an active part in leading the lectures that take place in the Towers. For example, our resident Shlomo Huppert regularly gives lectures to our residents on the topic of opera. Huppert, who has worked in the field for many years, is considered an expert in the field of opera. He dedicates each lecture to a certain opera and elaborates on it in a very professional manner, in both Hebrew and English.
For the community
Neighbors for the community. The Jerusalem Mediterranean Towers and The Traditional high school, which are located in close proximity, hold joint social activities for the community in Israel’s capital. Recently, the residents of the Mediterranean Towers joined a special project of the high school, in which the students provide hot meals for families in need that live in the city. Under the leadership of the resident Rachel Malul, the Tower’s management and Naomi Shabtai, the coordinator of' the10th grade at the high school, the residents, together with the students of the high school, prepared about 25 cakes in one of the Tower’s complexes, which became a real pastry shop. Despite the large age differences, the residents (ages 75+) and the students worked in full and true collaboration and acted as if they were one big family. The delicious cakes were delivered with the hot meals to those families.
This article was written in cooperation with Jerusalem Mediterranean Towers