As New York City prepares to change administrations, and new faces are about to assume leadership of the City Council, Agudath Israel’s leaders have been holding a series of intensive meetings with members vying to assume the speakership of the Council.
On Wednesday, Council-member Melissa Mark-Viverito, representing upper Manhattan, met with Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel, Executive Vice President Agudath Israel of America, Rabbi Shmuel Lefkowitz, Vice President for Community Services, and Chaskel Bennett and Leon Goldenberg, members of the Board of Trustees, at Agudath Israel headquarters in Manhattan. Ms. Mark-Viverito – a leading candidate for speaker- spent significant time discussing major issues affecting the Jewish community, including education, special needs children, Job training, religious rights and affordable housing.
“Today’s meeting follows several earlier meetings with various councilmembers including two of the other leading contenders for speaker, Daniel Garodnick and Mark Weprin,” said Rabbi Zwiebel. “These consultations are designed with the goal of helping the various candidates for the Speakership understand the Orthodox Jewish community, its concerns and priorities.
Leon Goldenberg, a longtime supporter of Mayor Elect Bill de Blasio echoed Rabbi Zwiebel, “We also had a chance to meet with several newly elected Councilmembers including: Andrew Cohen, Chaim Deutsch, Rory Lancman, Steve Levin and Carlos Menchaca, to bring the concerns of the flourishing Jewish community to the attention of incoming City Council members.”
Rabbi Shmuel Lefkowitz concurred. “These meetings are ongoing and provide elected officials and candidates with a clear understanding of our community and the unique challenges we face. As the new administration takes shape, we look forward to playing our role in advocating on behalf of the community at the highest levels of city government.”