This past Sunday, October 26, the Jewish Community Council of the Rockaway Peninsula (JCCRP) held a Legislative Breakfast honoring government officials and community leaders who have been instrumental in supporting the community. The event took place in the White Shul ballroom with over 400 attendees gathering to show their deep appreciation to the well-deserving honorees.
Nathan Krasnovsky, executive director of the JCCRP, welcomed the crowd with opening remarks thanking the sponsors, UJA-Federation of NY, Met Council, and all of the guests for their support. Emceeing the breakfast was none other than the JCCRP’s chairman, Richard Altabe. Mr. Altabe began the festivities by calling on the JCCRP president, Mordechai Dicker, to present the Chesed Award to Rabbi Mordechai Kruger. Rabbi Kruger was recognized for his tremendous efforts on behalf of the community, most notably, for his role in Pathways to Parnassa, which is dedicated to helping people in our community find work and for personally raising money for families in need.
Yoni Dembitzer, vice president of the JCCRP, was the next presenter, tasked with presenting the Public Service Award to Sergeant Keith Gallagher. Sergeant Keith Gallagher, an Iraq War veteran and a tremendous asset in keeping our community safe, was joined on stage by Deputy Inspector Wynne, the coordinators of the RCSP, and his lovely wife and child.
Our assemblyman, Phil Goldfeder, was the most fitting choice to present the Community Leadership Award to Legislator Howard J. Kopel. Assemblyman Goldfeder and Legislator Kopel have been working hand-in-hand to bring attention to the issues with 878/Rockaway Turnpike and, more importantly, facilitating a resolution. Legislator Kopel was recognized for his endeavor with Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder to become our bipartisan dream team fighting for the improvement of traffic on our roadways.
Councilman Donovan Richards was asked to present Queens Borough President Melinda Katz with the City Legislative Leadership Award. Councilman Richards noted how fitting it is for us to honor the “Queen of Queens.” As Queens Borough president, Melinda Katz has shown tremendous compassion through her willingness to constantly do her best to improve our neighborhood.
Rabbi Eytan Feiner, rabbi of Congregation Kneseth Israel (the White Shul), shared beautiful words of Torah with the guests and presented the State Legislative Leadership award to David Lobl, one of his mispallelim. Mr. Lobl is the Jewish liaison to Governor Cuomo and accepted the award on his behalf. Mr. Lobl has been a tremendous asset to the governor’s staff; whether it was coordinating the governor’s recent trip to Israel during Operation Protective Edge or making sure our local agencies received grant monies after Hurricane Sandy to help rebuild and provide support to homeowners trying to recover their losses. Honoring David was our way of honoring our governor who has done so much to aid our community’s recovery from Hurricane Sandy and much more.
Mr. Yanky Brach, a tremendous supporter of the JCCRP, presented the Friend of Israel Award to Congressman Gregory Meeks, accepted by Special Executive Assistant/Director of Rockaway Peninsula Joseph Edwards. Unfortunately, Congressman Meeks was called away at the last minute but JCCRP was happy to have Mr. Edwards accept on his behalf. Mr. Brach highlighted his work with Congressman Meeks on issues regarding Israel and its relationship with Congress. As our congressman has always been a strong supporter of our community and our JCC, this honor was befitting and long overdue.
Throughout the event, JCCRP was delighted to have our local elected officials address the audience to express their appreciation for the services the JCCRP provides and voice their ongoing commitment to support our community. State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice, State Senator James Sanders, Comptroller Scott Stinger, and Councilman Eric Ulrich all spoke at the event.
Tremendous hakaras ha’tov goes out to all of the JCCRP Legislative Breakfast sponsors: 718 Insurance, Addabbo Family Health Center, Apple Bank, Atlaz Computers, Brach’s, Central Lock & Key, Cross River Bank, Double Header, Far Rockaway Kosher Pizza, PIP Printing and Marketing Service, Prism Consultants, Queens Nassau Rehabilitation & Nursing Home, Russo’s Pharmacy, Staff Pro, Simply Sushi Café, St. John’s Episcopal Hospital, the Five Towns Jewish Times, the Jewish Home, the Jeweler’s Wife, and Traditions.
Last but not least, the JCCRP thanks all the rabbanim, elected officials, and community members who attended the breakfast and helped make the event a true success.
The JCCRP is a proud affiliate of Met Council and a beneficiary agency of UJA Federation of NY. The JCCRP provides a range of services for any clients who need assistance in social services or resource-directing within the community. Please contact the JCCRP for further information; Located at 1525 Central Avenue (entrance on Foam Place), Far Rockaway, NY 11691. Call the JCCRP at 718-327-7755 or visit them on the web at www.jccrp.org.