April 15, 2024
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Met Council Salutes New York Legislative Leaders

On June 4, The Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty held its Annual Legislative Breakfast at the Yale Club. This popular event, sponsored by the James and Merryl H. Tisch Foundation, precedes the Celebrate Israel Parade each year.

New York’s leaders were well represented, including Gov. Kathy Hochul; Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer; House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries; Congressman Jerrold Nadler; Attorney General Letitia James; Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli; NYC Mayor Eric Adams; Borough Presidents Mark Levine (Manhattan), Vanessa L. Gibson (Bronx), Antonio Reynoso (Brooklyn) and Donovan Richards (Queens); DAs Darcel Clark (Bronx), Eric Gonzalez (Brooklyn) and Melinda Katz (Queens); NYC Housing Preservation & Development Commissioner Adolfo Carrión Jr. and NYPD Deputy Commissioner Edward Caban. Israel’s Minister of Economy and Industry Nir Barkat and Acting Consul General Israel Nitzan were also in attendance.

In opening remarks, Met Council Co-President Benjamin Tisch noted, “We work closely with our partners in government assisting people in need. Their support is vital to Met Council every single day. We’re blessed to have you by our side.”

Met Council CEO David Greenfield added, “We have three partners to our work: generous donors we honor at our gala dinner, exceptional staff we honor at our staff retreat, and legislative and government supporters we honor at this breakfast.” Spotlighting the breakfast’s theme, “Feeding New York,” Greenfield noted, “This isn’t intended to be a clever tagline or marketing tool. It really goes to the very core of our belief, our responsibility as a Jewish communal charitable organization to help all New Yorkers in need.”

Leader Jeffries, the “Fighting Hate and Discrimination” awardee, stated, “In this great country, our diversity is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of immigrants. [Ex-Congressman] John Lewis reminded me that we may have come over on different ships, but we are all in the same boat now. I am thankful this organization serves the Jewish community in its broadest diversity in such an incredible way. But you also serve every community. That’s the best of New York City, the best of America.

“It is incumbent upon us as leaders to confront injustice,” Jeffries added. “There’s been a startling rise in antisemitism and hate crimes in the region and across the country. Our commitment, as Democrats in Washington, will continue to be always standing up for the special relationship between the United States and Israel. Injustice anywhere is the threat of injustice everywhere. We will stand with our Jewish brothers and sisters until we stamp out antisemitism wherever it is found.”

Adams commended the work of Greenfield and Met Council, “He brought dignity into poverty, so that people going through difficult times won’t be treated in an undignified way. His food pantries are very respectful. During COVID, this coalition kicked into gear to help food pantries while going through a hard time.”

Schumer, the highest ranking Jewish elected official ever in America, noted, “I was elected in November to my fifth term in the Senate. I promise you this, I will work as hard in my fifth term for New York, for America and for the Jewish community as I have in my first four.

“We work with the JCRC and Met Council to get non-profit organizations protection grants,” Schumer continued. “There is so much antisemitism. We started at $90 million, now it’s $305 million and we are fighting to get to $350 million. A huge share goes to religious schools of all types in New York.

“I am proud that our Democrat caucus is strongly in support of a strong Israel, we got the most security assistance ever for Israel, this year $3.3 billion for the MOU, $500 million for missile defense to protect Israeli families from rocket attacks and additional money for cyber-security.”

Governor Hochul said, “One year ago, Met Council celebrated 50 years of lifting people’s lives out of poverty, giving them hope and changing them forever.”

Attorney General James added, “Hunger knows no race, no ethnicity, no region. What I love about Met Council is that they serve food to all, regardless of race and religion. … I’ve witnessed its work all over the city and upstate, feeding everyone who comes to their door. I will always support and defend Met Council.”

For more information, please visit https://www.metcouncil.org.

Judy Berger is our Bronx & Westchester community editor

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