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Lives of Kittay House Tenants Headline a Project for Lehman College Student Journalists


Elaine Rivera, a professor at Lehman’s Department of Journalism, Communications and Theater, organized a special intergenerational journalism project for her students, as she’d heard that many of the Kittay elders’ histories were remarkable.


With recording devices, note pads and digital cameras in hand, more than a dozen journalism students from Lehman College arrived at Kittay House on March 15, eager to commence interviews with tenant volunteers.


The biographical-style interviews covered a wide range of queries from the students.


Tenant Ruth Kaplan, when asked about her education, told the young student reporter, “My parents were intensely interested in education. They felt having an education was the “way out” to a comfortable life and they felt no doors should be closed to girls.”


Rhoda Kaufman shared stories about her travel adventures, including transport on a freighter. The wide-eyed student said, “What? A freighter?” After Rhoda’s description of her overseas voyage, the budding journalist replied, “Wow, I’m fascinated by you.”


Student Shane Miller used his iPhone to record his interview with tenant Bill Regan. After learning about Bill’s education, career and his Irish ancestry, Shane tackled the important subject of favorite TV shows. Bill replied, “I like watching House,” adding with a grin, “Except that every medical issue uncovered is one that I then think I have.”


The student stories and photos are to appear in an upcoming issue of  The Bronx Journal.