For her mitzvah project, Jillian Wolfman partnered with a friend and fellow Girl Scout to bring share their love of music  with residents of two local senior living facilities. 

Jillian Wolfman, Congregation Temple Israel

For her mitzvah project, Jillian wanted to do something sustainable and meaningful and to make a positive difference in people’s lives. Daughter of Natalie and Neil Wolfman of Creve Coeur, Jillian loves music and playing the flute. As a result, she decided to share her love of music to make others feel good and to lift their spirits.

She and her friend Gigi decided to work together to earn their Silver Award for Girl Scouts. Starting in the summer of 2013, they went almost every week to Parc Provence and The Hallmark of Creve Coeur to perform for residents, including groups dealing with various stages of Alzheimer’s disease. 

“What we were doing was kind of like music therapy, which can help people with Alzheimer’s or dementia feel relaxed, less stressed and less depressed,” said Jillian in her bat mitzvah speech. “It also helps elderly people, because they enjoy our music and it makes them happy listening to us,” she said.

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On some occasions, Jillian was joined by other friends and her sister, Sabrina.

“The residents always enjoyed the girls when they came to play their music,” said Vicki Gatesh, director of resident programs and transportation at The Hallmark. “The girls were always polite and took time out after to visit with the residents, which they enjoyed.”

Gatesh noted that one 100-year-old resident was a particular fan of the performances because she had been a Girl Scout leader. 

The girls continued to visit several times a month. 

A student at Parkway Northeast Middle School, Jillian also played the flute as part of her bat mitzvah service. The songs she played were of peace, healing and celebration, which represented what her mitzvah project was about.

“As we cherish the special memories of this day and how Jillian continues to ‘heal us’ with her music, let this be a beginning of a lifetime of learning, healing, and repairing the world, one note at a time,” Jillian’s mother wrote in the bat mitzvah program.

Jillian ended her bat mitzvah speech with: “Maybe one day, years from now when I am older, another girl will come and play music for me so I can look back and remember all these happy times.”