Rekindling Intergenerational Relationships
By Sammi Dorfan (‘18)
Most high school varsity tennis stars wouldn’t miss the first round of CIFs for the world. Aleksis Livshitz (‘18), however, had other plans for the day that the rest of her team played in arguably the most important match of the season. Livshitz admitted, “I felt like I was letting down my team and coaches by not being there, but I wouldn’t have traded the opportunity to go on that trip for anything.” “That trip,” to which kind-hearted Livshitz refers so humbly, was a getaway to Palm Springs where she spent the weekend helping to entertain Holocaust survivors.
Livshitz said, “The seniors and I spent a lot of time at the spa, jacuzzi and the pool. This was an opportunity for them to get away from their lives for a few days and relax.” This trip was not an excuse to miss school and spend time by the pool. Aleksis never let her guard down as she was committed to ensuring that the seniors were safe and in good health at all times. In fact, this is what Livshitz described that as being the greatest challenge she faced while in the desert. Livshitz felt that she had a particularly important job in making sure that the seniors left unscathed because, she acknowledged, “In 5-10 years these amazing people won’t be around to share their stories.”
Livshitz “got involved with this through Jewish Family Services.” Since her mom works at the non-profit organization that “helps to build a stronger, healthier, more resilient San Diego,” Aleksis had easy access to the opportunity. She could have easily turned down the offer to rekindle intergenerational relationships. However, Livshitz said, “What inspired me to do this was the thought of helping seniors unwind and just their happy faces when they found out they were taking a trip like this, I was more than happy to help out.”
Aleksis returned bronzed by the rays of the sun and full of new memories and important stories to share with anyone willing to listen. In reference to the survivors with whom Aleksis spent the weekend, she shared, “It was really humbling to see them all so happy!” As lucky as Aleksis feels to have had this opportunity, the SDJA community feels the same to have her as a student. Kol Hakavod, Aleksis!