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Each year roughly a dozen teens compete for an exclusive summer internship program offered by DOROT, a nonprofit that connects volunteers to programs that help the elderly. But this is not a typical internship. The experience is unique in many ways, most notably for its documentary film component.

As part of this innovative program, offered to High School Sophomores through Seniors, experienced film makers from Old School Films work with the teens to teach them how to record interviews with an artistic and compelling eye. Then, twice a week, the interns sit down with elderly Jews to ask them about their lives and experiences, ultimately editing short documentary films that tell their stories in their own voices.

DOROT’s motto is “enhancing the lives of the elderly and bringing generations together.” Through this unique experience, and other activities like group teleconferences with homebound seniors, discussions on Jewish traditions, and weekly intergenerational classes about Jewish perspectives on current events, the nonprofit is enriching the lives of seniors, and their teen partners.

Studies across disciplines – medical, educational, psychological, social, and community health – highlight the benefits of intergenerational connections. Sincere connections with interested students keep older adults engaged, present, and valued, while the conversations provide healthy, informative perspectives for the teens. The artistic film component is an added benefit developing professional and educational development.  

There are two internship sessions available at DOROT’s Manhattan office, and one at its Riverdale office. Two of the sessions have the documentary film program.

Applications are currently being accepted on a rolling basis until May 10th, but interested students are encouraged to apply early.  To apply, reach out to Dara Garcia at (347) 913-4440.

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