WHV Residents, CJDS Students Join Together for Memorial Butterfly Release

Columbus Jewish Day School students and members of Creekside at the Village, an independent and assisted living center on the campus of Wexner Heritage Village, set aside time this week to remember family and friends lost in the last year.
On Friday, May 31, they will gather in the Creekside garden to release butterflies they have been raising. It is a symbolic gesture that organizers say is deeply meaningful in many different ways.
“We really don’t have that many opportunities to take a pause and remember our loved ones,” WHV Director of Spiritual Life Rabbi Cary Kozberg said. “Witnessing the transformation from caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly can serve to remind us that all things have a life cycle and that the end of each stage, is also the beginning of the next.”
The butterfly release at Creekside grew out of a similar remembrance ceremony that has taken place at the Columbus Jewish Day School (CJDS) annually since 2005. It is one of the intergenerational events that make up the LINK Program, established last year through a two-year grant from the Columbus Jewish Foundation to connect CJDS students and WHV residents through a variety of holiday, spiritual and social programming.
For CJDS students, the butterfly release at Creekside is an opportunity to connect with the larger community and understand that they are part of something bigger than their own experiences, the school’s Dean of Student Affairs Gina Freeman said.  It is just one of several intergenerational programs at WHV in which the school’s students participate during their elementary school years.
“Programs like this really demonstrate the school’s commitment to teaching the core Jewish value of honoring our mothers and fathers,” Rabbi Kozberg said. “We are so pleased to be part of that work.”
The butterfly release will honor the memories of those Creekside members who passed away since this time last year, Rabbi Kozberg said. They include Sam Crowell, Jewel Greenberger, Carole Hochman, Helen Karr, Lillian Katz, Harriet Korn, Richard “Dick” Meltzer, Helen Rehn, Mollie Rogers, Bernie Rubinstein, Beatrice Rudack, Anjette Scheiman, Paul Schneiderman, Alex Senser, Joyce Simon and Marion Soomsky.
Also this year, CJDS student Chloe Wasserstrom will unveil a piece of garden sculpture she and her schoolmates created to honor the friends they have made at Creekside. Wasserstrom is the daughter of Wexner Heritage Village Board President Eric Wasserstrom. As part of her preparation for becoming a bat mitzvah, Chloe has created a new fund at the Columbus Jewish Foundation to establish long-term support for the LINK Program.