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August 5, 2022 8:10 am

New Pediatric Playroom Opens at Medical Center in Ashdod, South of Tel Aviv

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Parents wait with their children to enter their elementary school as it reopens following the ease of restrictions preventing the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Sderot, Israel, May 3, 2020. Photo: Reuters / Amir Cohen / File. – Assuta Ashdod Medical Center, south of Tel Aviv, held a ribbon-cutting for a pediatric playroom, an oasis of video games, books and toys for patients and their families on Tuesday.

In this kid-friendly space, patients and their families can escape their hospital beds and combat the boredom of hospital stays with games and other activities. The light-filled playroom, made possible by Brooklyn-based Toys for Simcha, features a lounging area, a video game corner, a reading library, a foosball table, a play kitchen, toys and tech for toddlers to teens.

“Happy kids heal faster,” said JJ Hecht II, president of Toys for Simcha, an extension of Toys for Hospitalized Children, the non-profit established by his grandfather aimed at “bringing smiles to children of all religions in New York City hospitals.”

“The playroom is making a huge difference for the brave children undergoing treatment at the Dr. Lina Drahi Center for Pediatric Medicine, helping them smile through the pain, fear and uncertainty, and inspiring us all with their courage,” remarked Dr. Yoni Yeshayahu, head of the Pediatric Department.

The donation was made possible by the generosity of Solomon and Lillian Barnathan; Stewart Rahr; and Asher and Deborah Zamir, all of New York, and designed by Yeshaya Shor.

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