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“Tomorrow Show” Premiere is an Audience Thriller with the Friendship Circle at the Jewish Children’s Museum

Crown Heights, Brooklyn –- Last night, the Jewish Children’s Museum hosted an innovative and exciting dinner in appreciation of the Friendship Circle at the Jewish Children’s Museum volunteers. Two New York TV reporters hosted the “Tomorrow Show“ celebrating the Friendship Circle’s mission of providing children with special needs with a brighter tomorrow. A take-off of the popular Today Show, the Tomorrow Show was full of moving ”news“ features, a hilarious ”weather report,” mock commercials and live musical accompaniment by Gershon Veroba and the Neshoma Orchestra.

More pictures in the Extended Article!

The 500 “audience-members,” including major supporters and 170 volunteers and families of the Friendship Circle at the Jewish Children’s Museum were treated to a night of laughter, song and moving tributes to this vital organization. The Tomorrow Show weather report best described the work of the Friendship Circle. While pointing to highlights on the animated weather map behind him, weatherman Nissen Brenenson said: “In parts of Central and West Brooklyn, it looks like we’ve avoided all expected frustration and sadness showers after this whole area HERE was surrounded in a Friendship Circle.”

Several mothers of Friendship Circle children joined the hosts – Shazia Kahn and Stephanie Simon of NY1 – on stage to be interviewed. They spoke about the blessing the Friendship Circle has been for their families. “I don’t have to tell you guys about balancing a job with personal and family commitments. Of course, raising a child with special needs makes those things SO much more challenging!“ said one mom. ”Having a volunteer come visit our children…spend time with them, connect with them, take them out on the avenue, to the library, for a pizza… hang out with them on the weekend or take them to the wonderful programs here at the JCM has made their lives entirely easier to cope with.“

Tzirl Goldman started the Friendship Circle at the Jewish Children’s Museum in 2001, after her son was diagnosed with OMS, a neurological disability. “Chaim had all the medication, therapists and doctors he could want,” she said, “but he didn’t have a social life, no sense of a community…he didn’t have a friend.” The Friendship Circle pairs children with special needs with volunteers from high school. The boys and girls who commit to their special need friends devote several hours every week to playing with them, working with them on homework and taking them out for trips. They also help organize the monthly basketball games, the holiday parties and other special events.

But the high school boys and girls, celebrities of the Tomorrow Show, are not the only volunteers. Tzirl Goldman accepts no salary for the some 60 hours a week that she puts into running and coordinating the Friendship Circle. All members of the dinner committee also volunteered their time and equipment to make the Tomorrow Show the success that it was.

Judah Maccabee had a dramatic introduction to the Friendship Circle after reworking the Jewish Children’s Museum’s Maccabees show to create a Chanukah experience designed for children with special needs. Last night, Mr. Judah Maccabee (Levi Welton) swaggered onto the stage in full costume for a chat with the hosts. His interview elicited peals of laughter from the audience, bringing his punch lines to full applause. “In the year 3596 I used to ward off the Greeks. After the Maccabees show, I mostly ward off shadchanim.” That and other quips brought a roaring round of applause from the dinner guests. Judah left the stage with this final line: “To the volunteers,” he said, “I want to say: You are the true Maccabees.”

Judah’s hit performance was followed by a commercial of the Crown Heights Softball League, publicizing the Friendship Circle event that will take place in Lefferts Park on June 10, where children with special needs and their families will enjoy pizza and a game at an exclusive Softball game. Just before dinner was served, Gershon Veroba sang several moving songs bringing the first half of the program to a close.

Tzirl Goldman opened the show following dinner by thanking all those who help the Friendship Circle throughout the year. She honored program coordinators Chayale and Levi Eckhaus as well as those who volunteer their time and talent, Mrs. Sary Pinson and Yossi and Mica Soffer.

With the end of her presentation, hosts Stephanie and Shazia introduced their next guest. ”He’s a world renowned entertainer but he’s singing a different tune tonight. Is Avraham Fried disappointed in the Friendship Circle?“ Wild applause greeted Avraham Fried as sat down on the Tomorrow Show couch for his interview. Avraham explained in mock-anger how he would love to play basketball with these special-needs kids and hang out with them but he was never asked to do that! The hosts did a fine job trying to work out a time but it seems Avraham had a full schedule. “You know, it really is quite something to volunteer your off hours for the Friendship Circle,” he finally admitted. He thanked the volunteers and ended the evening on a high note with a spectacular rendition of “My Fellow Jew,” dedicating to own daughter who is a Friendship Circle volunteer.

Dinner Committee
Hosts: Stephanie Simon and Shazia Khan of NY1
Special Guests: Gershon Veroba with the Neshoma Orchestra, Judah Maccabee and Avraham Fried
Executive Director: Tzirl Goldman
Producer and Director: Zev Steinhauser
Creative Advisor and Script-writer: Avi Webb
Technical support and Director of Photography: Yankee Teitelbaum of JewishFilms.com
Technical support and Associate Director of Photography: Yehuda Shaffer
Poster and journal Designer: Yossi and Mica Soffer
Set Designer and Technical Operator: Chana Shaffer

The recently-opened Jewish Children’s Museum is located at 792 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, NY and is accessible via the B43 bus to Eastern Parkway or the 3 train to Kingston Avenue.

The Jewish Children’s Museum is successfully working to bridge the cultural gap in our community through innovative hands-on exhibits and interactive displays. Presenting key Jewish concepts in fun and informative ways, the Museum continues to receive rave reviews from educators, parents and most importantly from children themselves. Visit www.jcm.museum to find out more.

31 Comments

  • 1. Riki wrote:

    I was there – the event was totally AWSOME!!! There was never anything like this in Crown Heights – so proffesional!

    They had two REAL reporters as the hosts with tele prompters and spotlights. it was COOL, man!

  • 2. B. Ird wrote:

    That commercial of the crownheights softball league was really nifty. How do you join? How do you become a sponsor?

  • 3. Yossi G. wrote:

    The best part of the show was all the people in the black working around the stage. They looked really profesh. Go Yehuda!

  • 4. Rosey wrote:

    Beautiful; This is what Yiddishkeit is all about!
    Keep up the GREAT work!!!!

  • 5. Left out wrote:

    This is truely a magnificant program! Too bad Crown Heights doesn’t have something like this for kids who don’t have mothers or fathers or from divorced homes. They sure could use the attention of an older bochur/bochurette to do things with them also. It sure would be a relief to the single parent trying to raise these kids also!

  • 6. What is this community coming to? wrote:

    Rosey: is yiddishkeit really about TV???!!!

  • 7. David wrote:

    “What is this community coming to?” – go back to your hole.

  • 8. Preschool Teacher wrote:

    It was a huge kiddush Hashem. There were some really fancy people there and I think it made a great impression. I’m going to tell the people I work with to check it out!

  • 9. POWERade wrote:

    david…i like ur style…lol but ya, you’re definitely right…why does everything always boil down to something like that??? can’t we just stick to discussing how amazing the program was??? Thanks….

  • 11. Bernice from Ohio. wrote:

    The technical support guy was so professional and COOL.just plain cool.;)

  • 13. chana wrote:

    What is this community coming to?- you must take things in a bad way, rosey wasnt talkin about the tv she was talkin about the frendshipcircle program, or thats how i took it

  • 14. enough is enough wrote:

    do we really have to have afight aboy everything, that goes on in c.h???
    att: whoever wrote back to rosy

  • 15. Yishaya Korn wrote:

    “What is this community coming to?”:

    To expound on what David said, see I think you’re the type of person that is capable of saying about a Hachnosas Safer Torah that was being dedicated to a Shul you didn’t like “oh well why is it a smaller torah?”.

    You are ungrateful and look for the negative in things, I don’t know how old you are but im sure that you have this air of cynicism around you that im sure would rapel me. Next thing you will be saying ‘Agent Emes’ is too ‘TV’ like and should be banned form all homes.

    The Rebbe encouraged the use of modern technology like none before via Satellite, TV, Radio and even Internet (!!!) yeh, the thing you used to post that disgusting comment of yours. To take an abstract of TV in order to entertain a few hundred special needs children and to say ‘what are we coming to?’ well ill tell you what we are coming to, we are taking modern ideas and turning it into a tool for education, something that will capture the interest of our youth, that is %100 positive.

    To go and say something negative is simply heartless. Did you do anyhitng for onyone other then yourself lately?

    Rosey:

    The event AND the idea for the SHOW was awesome, I agree with you!

  • 16. a volenteer wrote:

    i had an awsome time there!!!!!! it was so much fun!!!!!

  • 17. A Loving Son wrote:

    Congats Ma looks like the event was a huge success,wish i could have been there,keep it up your an inspiration to so many people that it can be done!! I LOVE YOU!!!!

  • 18. go bochrim wrote:

    to all the bochrim that volunteered, my hat goes of to you, how all you guys are in yeshiva the whole day and still find time to do freindship circle.

    kol hakovod!!!

  • 20. my opinion wrote:

    I was not personally at the event. I heard it was really nice, but I do happen to agree with whoever said about the community and tv. This is Crown Heights. The Rebbe spoke out against TV and did not want to own TV’s and now a community event (an event that is part of tzivos hashem) is having a mini TV show (or whatever you’d like to call it). I think the friendship circle is amazing, but I think the idea was not the best.

  • 21. sydney :) wrote:

    mica and yoss you guys are incredible!
    It looks like it was a beautiful and moving event!

  • 22. Chana wrote:

    this looks like an amazing kiddush hashem. it’s great to see that lubavitch is at the forefront of helping those with special needs. i’m sure that it brings a great deal of nachas to the Rebbe!!

  • 24. OH YEAH?!? wrote:

    to all the girls that volonteered, my jewlery goes off to you, how you galls in shcool and taking finals a whole day and still find time to do freindship circle.

    Kol Hakovod!!!

  • 25. bochrim rock wrote:

    to OH YEAH?!? i think the girls had to do a act of chesed as a part of school, not like so by the boys, but as long as its all good work we should praise everyone who volunteered for taking their time and doing something like this its truly amazing.

    p.s. its gals not galls (that means something else)

  • 26. MOISHY!! wrote:

    Hi MOISHY!
    from the toyota odyssey driving by you on carrol st!

  • 29. nice!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! wrote:

    NICE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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