Carlina Rivera Shmoozes with Boro Parkers at the Rapaport Home

Carlina Rivera Shmoozes with Boro Parkers at the Rapaport Home

By Yehudit Garmaise 

Council member Carlina Rivera arrived right on time at 9:30 pm last night with her husband Jamie Rogers, at the home of Masbia Executive Director Alexander Rapaport, who regularly hosts political candidates who run to represent Boro Park.

Rapaport, who never endorses anyone, just enjoys providing what he calls, “a loose group of neighbors on the block to discuss the issues with candidates.

“We are just all sharing our unfiltered thoughts and feelings on everything from how electric school buses will affect yeshivas, the frustrating lack of parking in the area, the BQE, and Rivera’s 2018 trip to Israel.”

“We were all just chatting, but she didn’t come to eat the ice cream,” said one neighbor. “She was there to hear what we have to say.”

When a much-criticized photo of a “fake-Chassid” that Maimonides Medical Center used in an ad was passed around and discussed at the dining room table of Masbia Executive Director Alexander Rapaport, City Councilmember Carlina Rivera understood right away what was wrong with the picture. 

“Sitting with a lot of Chassidim, she looked at us, and she understood that the photo looked fake,” said a local business owner, who works with Rapaport to provide special times for members of different professions and volunteer groups to go to Masbia privately and with dignity.

That moment was just one example of how Rivera, “was very comprehensive and understanding about whatever issues we were discussing,” Boro Parker said about Rivera, who is currently polling as the frontrunner in the race to represent NY District 10 in the House of Representatives.

Other District 10 congressional candidates to have recently graced the Rapaport’s table have been Brian Robinson and Yuh-Line Niou, who infamously took a big bite of challah just days after announcing her support for the Boycott, Divest, and Sanction (BDS) movement.

Niou seemed to recant her previous support for BDS at the Rapaports among Chassidim, however, she later reiterated her support for the anti-Israel movement once she was out of Boro Park.

Rivera has clearly denounced BDS, and she said that she would not change her mind. 

Last night, Rivera impressed the crowd not only with her clear preparation and knowledge of the relevant issues, but her approachability. 

“She was haimish with us,” one participant said.

When one Boro Parker, for instance, mentioned that he was from Argentina, Rivera, whose mother is Puerto Rican, greeted him warmly in Spanish.

“We were all laughing,” the local businessman said about the nice exchange. “We felt like she was trying to be comfortable with everyone.”

When Rivka, Rapaport’s 8-year-old daughter came out to the dining room, Rivera took out one of her brochures that shows a photo herself when she was 8-years-old.

“She called my daughter over, and asked her how old she was,” Rapaport said about his youngest child. “She wanted to show what she looked like when she was 8.

“Rivka was very excited. She felt so good.”

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