By Avi Israel
An overflow crowd of communal figures, joined by elected officials and organizational leaders, gathered at the Lipschitz Halls on Friday, December 12, for the annual Boro Park Jewish Community Council (BPJCC) Legislative and Community Tribute Breakfast.
Coming on the heels of recent social unrest in the city and across the nation, as well as the horrific stabbing incident recently at Lubavitch world headquarters in Brooklyn, many of the speakers at the breakfast highlighted the wonderful virtues of our community and in particular noted the magnificent accomplishments of the BPJCC in serving the needy of the community
New York City Public Advocate Letitia James accepted the City Leadership Award, and in a stirring address praised the Boro Park community as a “light in this nation” and “the model that everyone shall emulate.” This point was further punctuated by City Councilman Dr. Mathieu Eugene, who emotionally recalled how the Jewish community in Boro Park and Flatbush stepped forward in a major way to help provide assistance to a devastating earthquake in his native country of Haiti a number of years ago.
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, in presenting Legislative Leadership Awards to Councilman Eugene, as well as to Councilman Carlos Menchaca, reminded the crowd that when one wants an indication of what Boro Park is about, the question to ask is how the children are doing, because when the children are fine, the city is fine. The borough president, to the amusement of the crowd, then challenged them to “drive through Boro Park during school hours and those buses will let you know the children are fine.”
Additional praise of the community came for Chessed Awardee Alexander Rapaport, executive director of Masbia, who noted that even the poor of Boro Park contribute to Masbia. And NYC HRA Commissioner Steven Banks, who received the New York City Humanitarian Leadership Award, extolled the virtues of the BPJCC by indicating that all the services offered are exactly what HRA offers, which is why the partnership between JCC and HRA is so important.
Another focus of the program was on business and economic development in Boro Park; award recipients Carlo A. Scissura, Esq., president and CEO of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce as well as Roni Shoyfer of Investors Bank continue to play a key role in those developments.
Other speakers at the event included Boro Park JCC President Isaac Stern as well as Executive Director Rabbi Yeruchim Silber, Assemblymen Dov Hikind and Jim Brennan, Councilmen Brad Lander and Mark Treyger, and a special message from Maimonides Medical Center CEO Pam Brier, delivered by Dr. John Marshall.
Menachem Lubinsky, CEO of Lubicom and longtime board member of Met Council, served as breakfast MC. The breakfast was sponsored by Maimonides Medical Center, Investors Bank, Center Light Health Care, MJHS, Signature Bank, Astoria Federal Bank, Boro Park Center, Apple Bank, and Dime Savings Bank. The Boro Park JCC is a proud affiliate of Met Council and UJA-Federation of New York.