Eighth-graders at Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy welcomed children from the Friendship Circle into their Livingston school on Dec. 24 for Friendship Day.
“Your goal for the day is to make friends and build on that friendship throughout the day,” Rabbi Adam Hertzberg, JKHA’s middle school director of student activities, told the young participants.
The Friendship Circle of Livingston is a program of the Rabbinical College of America that provides support and services to youngsters with special needs and their families.
The students were paired up with FC youngsters for the morning’s schedule of activities, which included dancing, singing, games, sports, and art projects.
Eighth-grader Jessica Serviss said taking part in the program convinced her that “everyone has something in common.”
FC participant Dina Kaufman drew a snowscape with her Kushner friend for the day, eighth-grader Hannah Ginsberg. “This is a special day,” Hannah said she told Dina. “I always get to see you at Friendship Circle, but this time you’re at my school.”
In addition to providing opportunities for friendship and fun, the activities offered respite for the parents whose children with special needs were on winter break.
“This was just an amazing morning,” said Friendship Circle executive director Toba Grossbaum. “The Kushner students really opened their school and their hearts to our children and made them feel so special. To see the smiles on the children’s faces was so inspiring. We could not have asked for a better morning.”