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Kites and Spirits Soar at Kittay House

Kites Symbolize Special Friendship between Bronx Fifth Graders and Kittay House Holocaust Survivors

 

Several kites were unfurled in the Kittay House garden this week, not as a tribute to the spring weather, but to replace what was lost 66 years ago.

 

When a group of Bronx fifth graders from PS75x in the South Bronx visited Jewish Home Lifecare’s Kittay House Senior Apartments to talk with Marion Sacher and Pearl Brown, Kittay House tenants who are holocaust survivors, Ms. Sacher told them about a kite she’d received as a present for her 13th birthday. In a Berlin park in 1937, a group of epithet hurling German boys ripped apart her kite.

 

After their visit, which was chronicled in The New York Times and Jewish Week, the Bronx tweens vowed they’d return with a new kite for Sacher.

Phyllis Murray, Director of the school’s Library/Literacy program who initiated the visit, shared that “The students have been talking non-stop about this return visit to Kittay.”

And they did. Not just any old store bought kite. They made new kites for her; greens one, like the one she described to them, and also specially selected some from a store.

Student kite maker Aaliyah Pastor, 10, said “I wanted to make the kite because it would make her feel happy. It was a tragedy before, but it will make her feel great now.”

On their return visit to Kittay house, covered by Jewish Week, the students also shared some of their poetry, and performed for Sacher on the violin.

Says Sacher of the experience, “This is so wonderful. It made me 6 feet high. They made them the right way, too, with wood supports (popsicle sticks.)”

One student wrote about the impact of their meetings on the kite. It says, “You always help me think right from wrong + you make my world light.”

As for Ms. Sacher, no one will take these kites. They are now displayed on her Kittay House apartment walls.