Men in yarmulkes stood alongside women in hijabs on the steps of City Hall on Tuesday, as they rallied for a mutual cause: free kosher and halal meals in public and nonpublic schools.
In last year’s budget, with the support of New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, the City Council allocated $1 million for a pilot program at the request of Councilmen Chaim Deutsch and Rafael Espinal. The program rolled out several weeks in nine New York City public schools: three serving kosher meals, and six serving halal.
“With more than 400,000 Jewish and Muslim students attending public school, and more than 100,000 Jewish students in private schools, the City has a responsibility to provide an accommodation for the diverse children who reside within the five boroughs,” said Deutsch, who chairs the Council’s Jewish Caucus and spearheaded Tuesday’s call to action.
Representatives of the Orthodox Union, Agudath Israel of America, the UJA Federation of New York, and several Muslim organizations joined the rally to speak about the critical need for these funds.
Lindsey Boylan, Congressional Candidate (NY-10), strongly supports the cause and told Hamodia, “Parents of all faiths should be able to send their children off to school, confident that their most basic needs are being met.”
With the City budget expected to pass in the next several weeks, the leaders urged parents throughout the City to call or email the Mayor’s office to demonstrate their support for these efforts.
Other elected officials who participated in the rally included Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, Assembly member David Weprin of Queens, Councilman Donovan Richards of Far Rockaway, Councilman Mathieu Eugene of Flatbush, and Councilman Costa Constantinides of Jackson Heights.