2018-06-13 / Front Page

Met Council on Jewish Poverty Holds 42nd Annual Legislative Breakfast

By Joyce Vetere Milowski and Dan Miller

State Comptroller Thomas Di Napoli chatting with NYC Public Advocate Letitia James and former City Council and State Assemblyman, attorney Mark Weprin
 

PHOTOS DAN MILLER/DMD IMAGESState Comptroller Thomas Di Napoli chatting with NYC Public Advocate Letitia James and former City Council and State Assemblyman, attorney Mark Weprin PHOTOS DAN MILLER/DMD IMAGESOn Sunday morning June 3, 2018 New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Hastings walked to the podium at the 42nd annual legislative breakfast of the Met Council on Jewish Poverty. The 20th floor ballroom at the YALE Club in Manhattan was filled with more than 300 supporters of the MET Council on Jewish Poverty as well as some of the top legislators representing electoral districts in downstate New York.

 Speaker Hastings recognized one of Queen’s’ lost hero legislators, the honorable Michael Simanowitz, then member of the New York State Assembly, representing Electchester, Queens who died suddenly on September 2, 2017 at the age of 45. Simanowitz served as a member of the NYPD Auxiliary Police in the 107Precinct. He served there from 1995 until his death in 2017 and achieved the rank of Auxiallry Deputy Inspector. Michael had been the Chief of Staff for the former Assembly member Nettie Mayersohn, who served the NYS Assembly for 28 years and who retired in 2001 when Michael Simanowitz winning her seat in a special election, called by the governor to replace Myerson.

Speaker Hastings presented the former Assembly member’s family with, the MET Council’s NY 1 Road To City Hall Host Errol Lewis, Host of Met Council Legislative breakfast talking with NYS Comptroller Tom DiNapoli and Israel Consul General Dani Dayan.

 

NY 1 Road To City Hall Host Errol Lewis, Host of Met Council Legislative breakfast talking with NYS Comptroller Tom DiNapoli and Israel Consul General Dani Dayan. HOLOCASUT SURVIVOR ADVOCACY AWARD.

Simanowitz was well respected by his fellow legislators. On hand to show support for his family were Congress member Grace Meng, NY State Assembly members Joe Crowley and David Weprin, New York Councilman Barry Grodenchik, who received an award on his own later in the program.

Other honorees included Hon. James P. O’Neill, Police Commissioner, City of New York, wh was given the FIGHTING HATE AND ANTISEMITISM AWARD.  The Hon, Todd Kaminsky, New York State Senator, Nassau County, The Hon. Barry Grodenchik, New York City Council member, Queens County, The Hon. Donovan Richards, New York City Council membe,r Kings County,  The Hon. Lauri Cumbo Majority Leader New York City Council, The Hon. Stephen Levin New York City Council (NY County), The Honorable Richie J. Torres, , New York City Council, (Bronx County).

Photos by Dan Miller/DMD IMAGESPhotos by Dan Miller/DMD IMAGESNew York City Public Advocate Letitia James brought the house down with her remarks about Jewish ethics when it comes to helping the poor and the elderly. It was only fitting that she ended her speach with some Yiddish words, (not for this article) that brought the hundreds in attendance to their feet with applause. It was pointed out that Governor Cuomo endorsed Public Advocate Letitia James for Attorney General in the upcoming Democratic Primary

The Met Council on Jewish Poverty services more than 225,000 individuals and families who live below the poverty line in New York City. It is the largest service organization of its kind in the world. While started and led by leaders who are Jewish the MET Council has no religious, language or color barriers to its needy recipients. From meals on wheels, to home visits to aged and in firmed the MET Council is there to help.

The Met Council on Jewish Poverty is led by the Hon. David G. Greenfield, who serves as the CEO since 2017. He previously served the City of New York as a member of the New York City Council(44th CD from Brooklyn) as a member of the Democrat Party(2010-2017). He is a graduate of Yeshiva Torah Vodaas, Touro College and the University of Georgetown, Law School.

In 2017 Councilman Greenfield, although well respected and well liked member of the City Council, skipped running for reelection to help resurrect the not-for-profit organization that had been recently rocked by scandal and insider theft. The organization, one of the most renowned and revered not for profits in the United States, helping poor and elderly human beings no matter their color, language or religious affiliation, made the news when its former CEO was arrested and charged with stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from the organization created to help others, not its leaders and officers.

  On the brink of collapse and the dismantlement of its many outstanding programs Councilman David Greenfield(Brooklyn Democrat) when offered the CEO position of the Met Council on Jewish Poverty decided to skip running for re-election as a New York City Councilman and chose to try his hand at saving the institution and the services it has been providing to more than 225,000 individuals and families as it did last year.

 Two years after the scandal and one year after not having a legislative breakfast David Greenfield planned the 2018 legislative breakfast with care and with caution. Those interested in getting more information about the work of the Met Council on Jewish Poverty, The largest Jewish Communal social safety net in America, may visit their website www.metcouncil.org

Prior to entering politics in New York David Greenfield worked for the Sephardic Communnity Federation for former Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman’s 2004 presidential campaign and for Assemblyman Dov Hikind.

Congressman Joseph Crowley announced the winner of the Met Council's Charitable Partners Award and presented it to Shimi Pelman, leader of the Tomchei Shabbos of Queens. One of Pelman's biggest partners is the Kew Gardens food pantry, serving hundreds of meals throughout the borough of Queens daily with volunteer drivers delivering the goods. Congressman Crowley spoke very highly about Mr. Pelman, "Shimi is part of my mishpachah." He is also a mentch and a friend," added Congressman Crowley.

The last speaker of the program was United States Senator Charles Schumer who congratulated the Met Council on Jewish Poverty “ a savior of the poor and the elderly no matter their race, color, religion or the language they speak.” On the Met Council’s new CEO, “I have known David Greenfield for many years and respect him, his ethics and the way he works with people’” said Senator Schumer.

The Met Council runs government-funded programs for the elderly and poor and had an almost $31 million budget in fiscal year 2015. for further information contact the Met Council website: www.metcouncil.org.

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