BPJCC Legislative Barbeque Draws Crowd of Enthusiastic Supporters
Hundreds of people spent an evening celebrating Boro Park while networking and discussing mutual goals at the BPJCC’s annual legislative barbeque, held Wednesday night at the Brooklyn Square Rooftop. The barbeque has earned its place as the highlight of the summer, allowing for a celebration of the community and the resilient partnerships that support it.
The much anticipated event drew elected officials at the federal, state and city levels, as well as community and organizational leaders while paying tribute to United States House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein, Fidelis Care Senior Vice President Scott Averill, New York City Community Affairs Unit Commissioner Fred Kreizman, Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso and Heritage Levavot founder Mrs. Olga Lipschitz.
City Councilman Kalman Yeger was the evening’s emcee, introducing Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer who spoke about the millions of dollars he secured for shuls, yeshivas and major Jewish organizations.
“There were some in my party who said, ‘We don’t give money to religious organizations,’ and I said, ’Oh yes, we do.’” said Schumer. “Our yeshivas got as much money as all the other public schools - over $300 million dollars.”
Jeffries addressed attendees next, noting the Jewish community has experienced over 2,000 years of pain, persecution and pogroms.
“Whenever we see a community under assault, it is our moral responsibility to stand with that community and so I pledge, in this era of rising anti-Semitism, is that we will always stand with Boro Park Jewish community and Jewish communities all across the country until we crush anti-Semitism, bury it in the ground, never to be seen again,” said Jeffries.
Mrs. Lipschitz marveled at seeing political leaders openly expressing their love for the Jewish community in stark contrast to her childhood memories of war-torn Hungary.
Reynoso lauded BPJCC for helping those who are in greatest need of assistance.
“Spread love – it’s the Brooklyn way, and nobody does that better than the BPJCC,” said Reynoso.
Eichenstein credited the BPJCC CEO Rabbi Avi Greenstein with taking the organization to the next level and, as one of the night’s honorees, suggested that perhaps their positions should have been reversed.
“I should be presenting the BPJCC with the award,” remarked Eichenstein. “The BPJCC may be just two blocks from my office, but at times, it feels like we are just one long office, with us sending constituents to their office and visa versa.”
Benefitting Boro Parkers was a theme that was echoed by Averill, who said, “Every opportunity to support the community, Fidelis is there with an open heart.”
BPJCC president Isaac Stern highlighted the organization’s ongoing initiatives that help residents find jobs, acquire training, health insurance, and food assistance, and assist with immigration and parenting.
“All we do is complain about our elected officials,” said Stern. “The fact is that we at the BPJCC are able to help thousands and thousands and thousands of people because of how the elected officials go out of their way to help us, so tonight we are here to say thank you.”
Gratefully acknowledging the event’s sponsors – Metropolitan Commercial Bank, Brooklyn Square and Fidelis Care, Greenstein categorized the BPJCC as a safety net for the community and underscored its mission of “helping with heart.”
“We are thankful to be able to continue doing what we have been doing for years,” said Greenstein, “and are deeply appreciative of our many partners who spend their days, and often their nights, advocating for others and finding ways to better their lives. In addition, our Director of Governmental Affairs, Ushi Teitelbaum, played a tremendous role in tonight's success, and his efforts are definitely worthy of note. ”