UJO’s Fifth Legislative Breakfast


ujo-smallOn Sunday, March 29, UJO (United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburg) held its Fifth Annual Legislative Breakfast. The breakfast has become an important event for Williamsburg’s dedicated activists and for the public officials in every phase of Federal, State and City Government that serves the community. Important political personalities highlight the event in their otherwise over-booked schedules.

UJO represents the many kehillos that comprise Williamsburg’s community fabric, including Belz, Cleveland, Dinov, Klausenberg, Krasne, Krula, Nitra, Pupa, Satmar, Shopron, Skver, Spinka, Tzelim, Vein, Vishnitz-Bnei Brak, Vishnitz-Monsey, and more.

UJO continues to work arduously on behalf of the entire community and each individual that knocks on its doors, which literally, are always opened. Everyone is given a warm welcome and full attention. UJO’s dedication is recognized and fully appreciated by all government officials that come into contact with the organization’s work.

(L-R) NYS Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli (accepting the State Leadership Award); Rabbi David Niderman, President, UJO; Brooklyn Democratic Chairman, Assemblyman Vito Lopez; and Yeshaya Schwartz, UJO Board Member.  (Photo by Heshy Rubinstein-Candid Camera)
(L-R) NYS Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli (accepting the State Leadership Award); Rabbi David Niderman, President, UJO; Brooklyn Democratic Chairman, Assemblyman Vito Lopez; and Yeshaya Schwartz, UJO Board Member. (Photo by Heshy Rubinstein-Candid Camera)

Rabbi Moshe Dovid Niderman, UJO President, is universally respected as a dedicated and selfless servant of Williamsburg’s chassidishe community. The event was held at the main ballroom of the Continental, located at 75 Rutledge Street. At 9:15 a.m. every seat was filled with participants eagerly waiting for the program to begin. Throughout the agenda, and especially during the presentation ceremonies, a substantial overflow standing room crowd participated. The Friedlander Group organized the impressive breakfast event.

Being a chassidic organization, the formal invitation to the important event proudly included the following note: “Hasidic tradition dictates against social mingling between unrelated men and women. Because of this, men and women will be seated in separate sections at our event. UJO respectfully thanks you for accommodating our tradition as it is farthest from our attention to be insensitive or create any inconvenience.”

Notable amongst the many public officials that participated were US Senator Charles Schumer, New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, New York City Comptroller William C. Thompson, Jr., Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, many New York State Senate and Assembly Members, as well as representatives of many high-ranking State and City elected officers. William (Reb Zev) Rappfogel served as chairman. Willy, as he is affectionately known, is the distinguished CEO of the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty.

The event honored the Williamsburg NYCHA Tenants Associations with its Hakaras HaTov Appreciation Award. UJO paid tribute to Thomas P. DiNapoli, NYS Comptroller; Dennis P. Whalen, Director of NYS Operations for the Governor; Joel I. Klein, Chancellor, NYC Department of Education; Edward Skyler, NYC Deputy Mayor for Operations; Vincent V. Abate, Community Board #1 Chairman; and Gerald A. Esposito, Community Board #1District Manager.

UJO was founded in 1966 to help families in need in the predominantly chassidishe community of South Williamsburg. Today, UJO serves and advocates for more than 70,000 community residents and 148 not-for-profits, religious, educational, charitable, and civic organizations in the Jewish communities of Williamsburg, Clinton Hill, and Bedford-Stuyvesant.

UJO is a direct provider of social and housing services, and is an important address for urban planning, as well as for health and community development services for the Jewish community of greater Williamsburg. As a liaison to public agencies, UJO supports and nurtures the growth of Williamsburg’s traditional Jewish community so that it may continue to contribute to New York City’s diverse cultural mosaic.

In addition to maintaining the neighborhood integrity of Williamsburg, its community leaders work diligently to maintain its unique chassidishe atmosphere. Great efforts are exerted in influencing outside commercial advertisers to keep clothing modest on their billboards in Williamsburg, as well lobbying for bike lanes not to cut through the heart of the community.

Most recently, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that the city’s Office of Film and Broadcasting has suspended all movie production filming that was scheduled for the south-numbered streets between Bedford and Kent Avenues. This was achieved by Shimon Weiser, representing UJO, at a meeting to discuss traffic and parking problems resulting from the movie filming.

The increase of movie production in Williamsburg in recent years has resulted in streets being closed off to pedestrians, vehicles, and parking for days at a stretch. Mr. Weiser concentrated attention of traffic patterns that result from the bike lane on Kent Avenue compounded by the effects of the movie production street closures. The combined complications were noted by Mr. Weiser and, as a result, the community planning board will be reviewing the activities of the motion picture industry in the neighborhood.

As a result of the community efforts, the mayor’s office has frozen all movie industry activities in the area bordered by South 2nd and South 8th Streets, Bedford and Kent Avenues.{Rabbi G. Tannenbaum-Machberes/Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. Degenerates who cannot afford thei lair of the Lower Manhattan creep into Williamsburg.
    Klal Yisroel owes to Reb Dovid Niederman shlita to keep the evil ones away