April 13, 2024
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Bergenfield Family Fun Day

I have been a resident of Bergenfield for more than a decade. Each year the Borough of Bergenfield has a community-wide celebration called Family Fun Day. It is a day full of activities for children, including music, bouncy houses and free treats, culminating in evening fireworks, provided free of charge to residents of the Borough.

For whatever reason (at the time of me writing this letter) this year it is scheduled on the first day of Shavuot. As those who are observant are fully aware, the event takes place in Memorial Park, which is located geographically in the middle of the Orthodox community of Bergenfield. As we walk home from shul Sunday night, make kiddush and eat our Yom Tov seuda, we will be greeted by the boom of Bergenfield’s taxpayer-funded fireworks display.

I am not writing this letter to discuss if the sensitivities of the observant community who pay a disproportionate sum of taxes in their jurisdiction were taken into account. Those who make these decisions and are elected officials know the answer to that question.

Rather, it is a clear reminder that no matter how integrated we feel in our communities, it is clear that we are just visitors and guests in the various neighborhoods and cities we live in, until Eliyahu Hanavi arrives.

Ira Treuhaft
Bergenfield
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