Gianna Lampert, a teen participant in the Tracing Roots program that brings together students from the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona’s Hebrew High and residents at Handmaker Jewish Services for the Aging, is the 2020 winner of the Better 2 Write contest sponsored by the Legacy Heritage Better Together Alumni Program. A Hebrew High committee judged the local contest.
Entries for the writing contest focused on the impact the program has on students, as reflected in their feelings about seniors, aging, and the mitzvah of caring for the elderly. Gianna wrote about her experience in the 2018-19 year of the Tracing Roots program and how much she learned from her partner, Ruth Cooper. “Overall, Tracing Roots has given me the opportunity to interact with people who I would not have previously been given the option to, and it has opened my eyes to how similar people of different ages can be,” she wrote. As the contest winner, Gianna is eligible for a scholarship toward a Jewish summer overnight camp program or a study program in Israel, which she hopes to use on a trip to Israel next summer with Camp Stein.
Gianna continued in Tracing Roots for the 2019-2020 program year, with Harriet Padilla as her partner, until the coronavirus pandemic curtailed activities.