A New Year’s Day Extravaganza is coming to town courtesy of Areyvut, a Bergenfield based non-profit. The event, from 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. at the Garden State Exhibition Center in Somerset, N.J., will feature rides, games and a variety of shows.
This will be Areyvut’s eighth year hosting an event on January first, but this is their first time doing something on such a large scale. The past seven years have featured an Uncle Moishy concert. Though “Uncle Moishy is still our favorite uncle” this event is keyed to a much larger demographic in terms of both age and religiosity, according to Areyvut founder Daniel Rothner.
“Areyvut’s a Jewish, pluralistic organization and one will see the gamut of the Jewish community at this event on the first,” Rothner said.
The wide range of attendees will get to experience mechanical rides, carnival games, inflateables, the Chicago Boys Acrobatic Team (of America’s Got Talent Fame), comedy jugglers, and a BMX show.
“A clear goal of the day is to provide a fun, meaningful experience for families- it’s a day off of school, a day off of work, so families should come together- but it’s also to fund Areyvut so we can continue serving the community all day long, every day of the year,” Rothner said.
Areyvut serves the community in a wide variety of ways on a regular basis. Its mission is to infuse the lives of Jewish youth and teens with the core Jewish values of chesed, tzedakah, and tikkun olam. Toward that end, it trains people in mitzvah clowning, holds two teen philanthropy programs and works to connect bar and bat mitzvah age kids with chesed opportunities.
Funds raised at the extravaganza will go toward fulfilling its mission. Nevertheless, all employees of Jewish organizations will be allowed to attend free of charge. Rothner explained that these individuals often work very hard and are also often undercompensated. This hakarat haTov is “a small gesture to make it easier for them to come with their families.”
Families and individuals who wish to attend can buy tickets in advance at www.newyearsdaycarnival.com, or purchase their tickets at the door. Kosher food will be available for purchase.
By Aliza Chasan