“All of the amazing families, supporters, volunteers, and staff make Friendship Circle what it is. We are so blessed to have a strong network of friends, who together make up a greater sum of the parts,” Rabbi Zalman Grossbaum said; he’s the CEO of Friendship Circle of New Jersey and of LifeTown.
This year’s annual banquet features an unusual honoree. Water. 20,000 gallons of water. That’s how much it takes to fill LifeTown’s new Diane and Robert Goldberg Pool. The zero-entry pool was dedicated at the gala, named in memory of Robert and Diane Goldberg; their son and daughter-in-law, Michael and Terri Goldberg, accepted a tribute in their memory. The evening’s other honorees were Mark DeFazio, the president, CEO, and founder of Metropolitan Commercial Bank; Eugene Negrin, the chairman of Galaxy Glass & Stone; and local philanthropists Julie and Max Silbermann.
As the pool was celebrated, a new challenge grant was announced to bring a bowling alley on the ground level. There also will be a Tree of Lights, in memory of the 1.5 million children who were murdered in the Holocaust. The tree is to encourage children to do mitzvot; every time a child dedicates a mitzvah to the memory of a child who died in the Shoah, the tree’s lights
Jane Negrin, of blessed memory, actively volunteered for Friendship Circle for many years. In her memory, her husband Eugene, who founded Galaxy Glass & Stone in 1978, created and donated the donor wall and custom mezzuzot at LifeTown. The extended Negrin family have become engaged with LifeTown.
Robert and Diane Goldberg learned about Friendship Circle when their now-grown grandchildren were teenagers and started volunteering there. It became a family affair, and the Goldbergs continued to support Friendship Circle through the years. In addition to the pool, the family also dedicated the sensory wall at LifeTown. For more information, go to www.fcnj.com.