A Livingston playground has been resurrected thanks to a generous donation from a local synagogue.
After falling into disrepair over the years, and then being declared unusable in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the "tot lot" playground located on Grand Terrace had to be removed, until members of the Synagogue of the Suburban Torah Center and its Iris Berman Early Childhood Center sprang into action.
Realizing the need, the synagogue and its nursery school community launched a fundraising campaign and rallied together to turn the idea of a new playground into a reality.
A total of $15,000 was raised in three short weeks and the congregation was able to purchase an entire playground set for the site. Working in partnership with Livingston Township representatives and the Livingston Public Works department the playground was ready for use a short time after.
The new playground will be open to the public and will also be used by the synagogue’s Iris Berman Early Childhood Center. A ribbon cutting ceremony took place at the new playground on Sept. 22.
In attendance were Livingston Mayor Rudy Fernandez, Suburban Torah’s Rabbi Eliezer Mischel, teachers and students at the Iris Berman Nursery School and their families, representatives from the Town Council, and synagogue members.
Understanding that not every community has the good fortune to be able to provide a safe playground for their children, the students at Suburban Torah’s nursery school will learn an extra lesson in kindness and in helping your fellow man as they raise money for KaBOOM, a national non-profit dedicated to providing children throughout the United States with safe play grounds.
All of the tzedakah (charity) that the children in the nursery school collect this school year will be dedicated to KaBOOM. These young students will learn to “pay it forward” as they watch their pennies grow in their class tzedakkah boxes and help other children get the playground of their dreams, a gift that they have been so fortunate to receive.