June 6, 2024
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Mayor Eric Adams Hosts Annual Jewish Heritage Event

NYC Mayor Eric Adams welcoming Jewish Heritage dignitaries, honorees and guests.

On May 29, New York City’s 110th mayor, Eric Adams, hosted the annual Jewish Heritage Reception at Gracie Mansion.

“We are in extremely turbulent times,” Adams said. “We’ve moved so far away from our patriotism and what really rooted us in success. Only 18% of people between 18-34 love America. Who’s coming through the pipeline to say they love America?

“On college campuses, we’re radicalizing our children, not only to hate Jewish people, but to hate the country they’re educated in. The real tragedy of this is how many good people are remaining silent because they’re afraid of being canceled? I say cancel me any day, I’m not going to sit back and allow this to happen to the country I love.

“I believe this is a moment of tikkun olam,” the mayor continued. “It’s time for us to heal the world. I don’t say destroy from the river to the sea. I say build from the river to the sea; embrace from the river to the sea. This is a moment where we must stand up for what is right. If we get it right in New York, it would cascade throughout the country and the globe.”

Jewish NYPD officers with NYPD Chief Surgeon Dr. Eli Kleinman (third from left) and Chief Chaplain Rabbi Alvin Kass (center front) on the lawn of Gracie Mansion.

Adams cautioned: “The loudest isn’t the majority. Don’t be fooled because people yell loud and say nasty, hurtful things that they’re representative of what this city has to offer. There’s more of us than them. That’s who we are as a city.”

Three citations were presented. Music executive Scott “Scooter” Braun, who brought the Nova exhibit to New York, said: “When I realized that these young people who had lived through the largest music massacre in history, with over 360 killed and over 40 hostages, I realized my own industry I had worked in for over 20 years was staying silent. I became angry.”

Honoree and former Hamas hostage Shoshan Haran, holding a poster of her son-in-law Tal Shoham, who is still being held in Gaza, as Adams (far left) and NYPD’s highest ranking Orthodox member, Deputy Chief Richie Taylor (right of poster) look on.

Braun continued: “We should bring this memorial to New York, Los Angeles, around the entire United States and make people understand this could have been them: Governors Ball, Coachella, any music festival in the world. This is the Jewish Heritage celebration. While it seems scary and antisemitism is on the rise, every Jew in the last thousand years would switch places with you right now. Antisemitism is as it always has been and as it always will be, unfortunately. The difference is we don’t need to hide. We don’t need to be ashamed. We are stronger than we’ve ever been. With that strength, we’ll stand with poise.”

The second honoree was Kibbutz Be’eri’s Shoshan Haran, founder of Fair Planet. She’s helped farmers in Africa triple their crops. On October 7, Haran, her daughter and granddaughters were taken hostage to Gaza for 50 days. Her son-in-law remains captive there. Her husband and sister were killed.

Israel’s Consul-General in New York Ofir Akunis.

Haran thanked the Jewish community “who helps us, supports us, and enables me and all my friends and family to fight for the release of the remaining hostages.” She described the events of October 7: “We had three seconds to decide to surrender or die. We decided to surrender. My husband and Tal, my son-in-law, opened the window, and we were taken hostage by Hamas.

“I read a lot of Holocaust survivors’ books. I used all their wisdom to survive in captivity and save my daughter, my grandkids. … Now that I am released, my mission is to help release Tal Shoham, my son-in-law, who is still there, 237 cruel days with all the other hostages.

Adams (at podium) recognizing Scott “Scooter” Braun (second from right) for bringing the Nova exhibition to New York City.

“They murdered my husband. They murdered my sister. They murdered 101 members of my kibbutz. But our spirit is not broken. We are fighting. We are resilient. We need to bring them home now.”

The third honoree was social media influencer Montana Tucker. “I am a singer, dancer, actress, but most importantly, I’m a proud Jew,” Tucker stated. “I will continue to use my platform to stand up for Jews, combat antisemitism, all forms of hate, and continue to call for release of the hostages.”

Y-Studs entertain arriving Gracie Mansion guests.

The program concluded with Adams acknowledging “chaverim,” who “personify giving back mitzvahs in a very real way.” He also thanked Joel Eisdorfer, a senior adviser, who is leaving City Hall.

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