Brooklyn – Sunday night, Councilman David Greenfield hosted the Speaker of the New York City Council, Melissa Mark-Viverito, at a sukkah gathering at the home of Renewal Chairman Mendy Reiner. Over 50 Jewish leaders were in attendance including the heads of many community non-profit organizations as well as Jewish leaders and elected officials from across the city. The Sukkah gathering in honor of the Speaker was a wonderful introduction to the important Jewish holiday of Sukkos and gave the speaker a unique opportunity to get to know the Jewish community on a personal level.
Upon her arrival, Councilman Greenfield introduced the Speaker to the many community leaders in attendance, highlighting the important and diverse work they do in the communities of Borough Park and Midwood. Some of the organizations represented included the Boro Park, Flatbush and Bensonhurst Jewish Community Councils, Masbia Soup Kitchen, Mekimi, Reach for the Stars Learning Center, and Guardians of the Sick. A half-dozen Council Members also joined in the festivities including Council Members Mark Treyger, Helen Rosenthal, Alan Maisel, Vincent Gentile, Rafael Espinal, and the City Council’s Jewish Caucus chair Mark Levine. Several national Jewish leaders were also in attendance including Malcolm Hoenlein, Executive Vice Chairman of the Conference of Presidents, Rabbi David Zweibel, Executive Vice President of Agudath Israel of America, Mrs. Ruth Lichtenstein, Publisher of Hamodia, and Jeff Leb, Political Director of the Orthodox Union. Brooklyn Democratic Chairman Frank Seddio wished the crowd “A Gut Yom Tov,” as well and thanked the Speaker for adopting the Borough of Brooklyn as her own. Seddio also praised Councilman Greenfield’s leadership role in the City and the Jewish community.
Councilman Greenfield spoke of the Speaker’s close relationship with the Jewish community including her unwavering support for the restoration of $10 million in funding for after school Priority 5 vouchers, the City Council’s newly expanded Autism Initiative and her support against the nearly 40% increase in anti-Semitic crimes in New York City. Greenfield also spoke of multiple visits that the Speaker made to the community including a meeting with community leaders in April and several visits with Masbia and the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty to prepare and distribute food for the needy before Pesach and Rosh Hashanah. The Speaker thanked those in attendance for their support and friendship. She also reiterated her advocacy for the neediest in New York City and happily wished everyone at the Sukkah event a “Chag Sameach” in perfect Hebrew.
“Sukkos is the most joyous holiday on the Jewish calendar. It’s the time to gather with friends and family and celebrate. My thanks to Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito for joining us in Borough Park yesterday and sharing in the holiday with so many of the Jewish community’s leaders,” said Councilman David G. Greenfield. “I know the Speaker was impressed by the amount of chesed that was on full display and represented by so many people who attended the Sukkah event in her honor.”
“I’m very grateful to Council Member Greenfield for hosting this wonderful sukkah gathering,” said Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “Celebrating the joyous holiday of Sukkot with so many important community leaders was a great privilege. Council Member Greenfield has displayed tremendous leadership as an elected official and last night’s event was another example of his work to bring all of New York City’s communities together.”
Councilman Greenfield hosted the Speaker in Borough Park earlier this year at a pre-Passover gathering with Yeshiva administrators to discuss pressing issues of concern to Brooklyn’s Orthodox Jewish community. The Speaker heard directly from school leaders to learn about the neighborhood’s need for UPK seats and increased funding to priority 5 and 7 vouchers. She immediately went to work on all of those community priorities.