Videos: Jewish & Haitian Community Leaders Hold Emergency Meeting for Quake Effort


small-haiti-meeting[Multiple videos below.] An emergency meeting was held this morning attended by leaders of the Jewish and Haitian communities in New York to address the emerging needs of the local Haitian community. The meeting took place at the business office of Rabbi Gedaliah Weinberger, chairman of board of trustees of Agudas Yisroel of America in Flatbush, Brooklyn. Organizing the meeting were community leaders from COJO of Flatbush, Agudas Yisroel of America and Brooklyn Assemblyman Dov Hikind.

Participants included Congresswoman Yvette Clark, Councilman Mathieu Eugene and Councilman Jumaane Williams, who represent the largest Haitian community outside of Florida and Haiti.

Also represented was the office of State Senator John Sampson, Senator Kevin Parker and representatives from Councilman Brad Lander’s office.

haitian-meeting-speakingOther participating Jewish organizations included the Crown Heights Jewish Community Council represented by Rabbi Chanina Sperlin, and the Jewish Community Council of Boro Park represented by Rabbi Yechiel Kaufman, as well as representatives of Agudas Yisroel of America, including members of the board of trustees, Shloime Werdiger, Elly Kleinman and Chaskel Bennett.

 “We are not international organizations, with means to do things on an international level,” said Leon Goldenberg, board member of COJO of Flatbush and Agudas Yisroel trustee. “We are local organizations deeply involved in the social service needs of the local Jewish community, who care about our Haitian neighbors too. Upon hearing of the devastation in Haiti, our network of organizations began encouraging their constituents to donate to the reputable international relief organizations.”

 “This meeting is also about a neighbor-to-neighbor effort, trying to find out what we can do to help alleviate the local anxiety,” said Rabbi Shmuel Lefkowitz, vice president of community services at Agudas Yisroel of America. “By Wednesday afternoon, we had already alerted thousands of our members with the relevant donation information. Today, we are taking this to a new level.”

hikind-haiti-meetingAs word of the meeting got out, members of Jewish leadership came forward and, upon request, donated 10 computers to help the local Haitian community leaders and their constituents find love ones at, and for other needs.

The Hamodia newspaper has pledged to run free solicitation ads encouraging their readers to donate to reputable international organizations.

“We are covering the story extensively and now we will also get our readers involved by helping,” said Yonosson Moller, business manager of Hamodia. “Having a call-for-action in the name of Jewish leaders gathering today will have a great impact on our readers.”

“Today, we gather as a cross-section of our community to show by action that we share in the pain of our Haitian friends and are ready willing and able to respond,” said Assemblyman Dov Hikind.

 “We all see the swift and expert work of Israeli doctors and rescue teams on the ground almost immediately following the 7.0 earthquake,” said Congresswoman Yvette Clark. “The Jewish response to the pain of others is legendary and today’s gathering is a continuation of the special heart the Jewish community always shows in times of crisis.”

“We deeply appreciate the friendship and care of the Jewish community represented here today. We are urging the community at large to donate to the recognized international relief organizations who are on the ground in Haiti,” said Councilman Mathieu Eugene.

Click below for videos of the gathering, all courtesy of shiezoli.

Video 1: Remarks by Assemblyman Dov Hikind:

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Video 2: Remarks from Councilman Mathieu Eugene, representing the Haitian community:

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Video 3: Remarks by Chaskel Bennet: 

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{Noam Newscenter}


  1. Our job is to be a light onto the nations. Keep the Kiddush Hashems rolling.Thank you Matzav for bringing us inspiring news we can all be proud of.

  2. i saw on ny1 news last wednesday that a group of volunteer ambulance and emt’s from flatbush (NOT jews) was getting together to go to haiti. a stam brooklyn based volunteer ambulance group a goyish corp wo were all going to help in haiti. there is a bedy stuy volunteer ambualnce group also that has sent over 100 emt’s to haiti.