Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein Receives 'Askan in Government Award' at OJPAC Appreciation Event

Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein Receives 'Askan in Government Award' at OJPAC Appreciation Event

 By Yehudit Garmaise

After Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein (D-48) repeatedly used his voice to defend the Orthodox Jewish community in the last year, Yossi Gestetner, the executive director and a co-founder of the Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Council OJPAC, awarded him with an “Askan in Government Award.”

“Assemblyman Eichenstein has repeatedly defended the Orthodox community from unfair smears in the public arena and unfair policy beyond what would be expected from an assemblymember,” Gestetner said at the OJPAC dinner that was held on June 9 in Westchester.

“When the community came under attack: during Covid or when the yeshivas are criticized, Eichenstein spoke out forcefully,” said Gestetner, who hosted the event with OJPAC co-founders Aron Spielman and Mayer Berger, who together seek to counter the defamation of the Orthodox Jewish Community and to bolster civil rights and civil liberties. “He could have decided he wasn’t going to get involved, but when Simcha speaks up as one of the highest-ranking, visibly Jewish officials in New York, it has an impact.

“The way Orthodox Jews are reported on and spoken about in the public arena has a direct impact on the number of hate attacks in the streets, discrimination in the private sector, and abuses by governments.”

In addition to Eichenstein, OJPAC also awared Rockland County Legislator Aron Wieder the Askan in Government Award. 

Rabbi Yeruchim Silber of Agudas Israel and Rabbi Yakov Menken of the Coalition for Jewish Values were honored with the Senior Askan Award. Shimon Rolnitzky of Kol Mavaser and Der Gluck received the Askan in Media Award. 

For the Organizational Askan Award, Rabbi Israel Kahan of Oyzrim and of the Anti-Defamation League was honored, and Jeff Ballabon and Lee Brewer were honored with the Independent Askan Award.

"We wanted to honor the people who defend Orthodox Jews against bigotry and hatred and stick up for Jews' civil rights and civil liberties," Gestetner told BoroPark24. 

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