Speaker Meets Brooklyn’s Orthodox Jewish Community


Councilman David Greenfield hosted Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito on Monday in his Boro Park office  for a meeting with community leaders about the challenges faced by the community.

Greenfield introduced Mark-Viverto to the chessed of the community he represents while pinpointing specific programs New York City could support to ease the financial burdens of many in the Jewish community.

Specific initiatives include ensuring that yeshivah and non-public school students have the same access to universal pre-K programs as all New Yorkers, restoring priorities 5 and 7 after-school vouchers in the city budget for families who cannot afford childcare, and improving yeshivah security to ensure that the community’s children will be safe.

Community leaders in attendance illustrated these needs with questions for the Speaker and first-hand stories about the struggling families they serve. This meeting was especially timely as the City Council has recently begun negotiating with the mayor’s office over next year’s budget.

The generosity of the community was on full display as Mark-Viverito and Greenfield visited Masbia Soup Kitchen to prepare Pesach food packages for those in need. Joined by Masbia Executive Director Alexander Rapaport, Boro Park JCC Executive Director Yeruchim Silber and CEO of Met Council David Frankel, the staff at Masbia explained the daily work they do to ensure no one in the community goes hungry.

Rapaport and Masbia chef Ruben Diaz presented a sample Seder plate to the Speaker, explaining the significance of the items on the dish and the Passover holiday. Shortly thereafter, the visitors packed bags of nuts and apples to be distributed to thousands of families in the community before Pesach as part of Masbia’s charitable charoset campaign.

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