May 18, 2024
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May 18, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Grandparents & Special Friends Spend Morning at JEC

Elizabeth, NJ–The atmosphere was electric as the Jewish Educational Center’s Yeshiva of Elizabeth Early Childhood Department recently hosted its annual Grandparents & Special Friends Day on the last day of Chanukah. Over 300 grandparents and special friends (that included parents, neighbors, aunts and/or uncles) joined students for a gala breakfast celebrating their special relationship.

With the room dressed with colorful Chanukah related d?cor, festive balloons, and mood lighting supplied by OlamDJ, and the tables laden with breakfast delicacies and Chanukah treats, guests were treated to a musical performance by the Early Childhood choir lead by Mrs. Chana Salomon. A thrilling multimedia presentation produced by Uri Abramov depicted the experiences of students enrolled in the exciting three-year program.

Rabbi Shlomo Schwartz, Yeshiva of Elizabeth Principal, and Mrs. Lisa Bond, Coordinator for the Early Childhood division, spoke, as did Mrs. Corrine Cohen, a parent who moved to Elizabeth from South Africa several years ago, who enthusiastically encouraged parents, grandparents and special friends to engage and get involved with JEC. She announced plans for the fundraising and development of an indoor playground for use by yeshiva children during inclement weather.

The PTA, led by Mrs. Tara Speyer of Hillside and coordinated by Mrs. Sharon Koniegsberg of Springfield, displayed items from their popular “JEC Apparel Store,” which now enjoys its own prominent display case, and administrators from the other JEC divisions–Bruriah and RTMA–attended as well.

Following the formal part of the program, guests were invited to have their photos professionally taken in front of the official JEC step-and-repeat backdrop by photographer and Bruriah alumna and current JEC parent Mrs. Arielle Ness, whose husband Brian, a partner at PwC, is also a member of the school’s Board of Trustees. They were then encouraged to join the students in their respective classrooms and decorate custom photo frames, which was later given to them as a take-home gift to display the photos that had just had taken.

The program was live streamed on the web for those grandparents and special friends who could not make it, and is available to view at http://new.livestream.com/jec/events/3678122.

It was an exceptional day and guests had such an enjoyable time that many stayed longer and even requested to watch the multimedia presentation again. One grandfather excitedly approached an administrator waving his checkbook and exclaiming that he wanted to “make a donation right now!” Most importantly, though, is that the kesher (conection) between the generations was recognized and solidified in the respectful and gracious manner of our Jewish traditions. It was truly a Kiddush Hashem!

By Adina Abramov

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