One of the things that makes this job different from most newspaper jobs is the presence of children. Because of the location of our offices at the Dwares Jewish Community Center, we see children of all ages on a daily basis.
We are on the same hall as the afterschool programs at the Eides Family J-Space. We are in the same building as the David C. Isenberg Family Early Childhood Center (ECC). And there are many other programs taking place in the building that bring in children from all over Rhode Island.
When I started as editor, our offices were adjacent to the ECC rooms. Each day at noon, the sounds of “Puff the Magic Dragon” came wafting through the walls from the room next door. When I went to photograph a freshly remodeled classroom, I got pulled into a game of “trucks” with several toddlers.
Fast forward to our move to the main floor of the JCC. Now I can walk down the hall and see toddlers with their parents and grandparents arriving for Rock-a-Baby. Sometimes I peek into the room where Rock-a-Baby is held: There’s nothing like seeing the little ones dancing to music.
My own children are grown now but I still remember bringing them to “baby gym” at the JCC. They spent many hours in the ECC and at afterschool classes.
Seeing the children here every day puts a smile on my face and makes me appreciate the vitality of the next generation.
The JCC is filled with people of all ages. The newspaper tends to have an older readership. But interacting with the children reminds me of how important it is to nurture the sandbox set.
David C. Isenberg saw that too. The entrepreneur, philanthropist and family man saw a need in the preschool and jumped in to assist. First, he helped modernize the aging playground. Then he donated funds to make the school facility the best it could be.
Isenberg lived to see the fruits of his philanthropy and the many children who benefited from his generosity. He died last week after a four-year battle with cancer, but The David C. Isenberg Family Early Childhood Center continues to renovate classrooms and extend Isenberg’s vision for future generations.
It’s a joy to watch these children and all the life and activity they bring to our community. We pass them in the hallways, read to them at story time and generally share in their happiness with learning.
Once a year, we focus special attention on children from first to eighth grade through our annual Hanukkah contest, which we co-sponsor in partnership with the Touro Fraternal Association. It’s a joy to see how this new generation illustrates the true meaning of Hanukkah. This year, the contest theme is Hanukkah tzedakah (charity).
Judges for this year’s contest will be a member of the Touro Fraternal Association, a member of The Jewish Voice’s staff, and one or two staff members of the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island.
Please encourage your children, grandchildren, friends and neighbors to enter this year’s contest. There are wonderful prizes and the winners’ names are published in the Voice and at jvhri.org.
You can find the contest rules and entry form on Page 27 or go to jvhri.org or tourofraternal.org for more information and to download the contest entry form.