As has become an annual tradition, the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty (Met Council), one of New York’s largest human service agencies, hosted its 37th Annual Legislative Breakfast, on Sunday morning, June 2, just prior to the Celebrate Israel parade.
More than five hundred guests attended the breakfast at the Roosevelt Hotel’s Grand Ballroom. Among this year’s honorees were members of the New York State Senate, Assembly, and City Council, as well as the NYS Department of Financial Services Superintendent and the Commissioner of the New York City Fire Department.
“Met Council is proud to partner with leaders in City and State government to effectively and efficiently serve needy New Yorkers,” said Met Council’s Executive Director & CEO William Rapfogel. “Today we honor our partners for their continued support of Met Council’s mission, and pledge to continue our work together to provide services that lift New Yorkers out of poverty.”
The Met Council’s honorees included, Superintendent Benjamin Lawsky, NYS Department of Financial Services (State Leadership Award), Hon. Vivian E. Cook, New York State Assembly (State Legislative Leadership Award), Hon. Phillip Goldfeder, New York State Assembly (State Legislative Leadership Award), Hon. David Carlucci, New York State Senate (State Legislative Leadership Award), Hon. Lee M. Zeldin, New York State Senate (State Legislative Leadership Award), Hon. Charles Meara, Chief of Staff, New York City Council (City Legislative Leadership Award), Hon. Julissa Ferreras, New York City Council (City Legislative Leadership Award), Hon. Ydanis Rodriguez, New York City Council (City Legislative Leadership Award), Commissioner Sal Cassano, New York City Fire Department (City Leadership Award), Eric Goldstein, Chief Executive, Office of School Support Services (City Leadership Award), Hon. James P. Molinaro, Staten Island Borough President (Borough Leadership Award), Rob Acton, Taproot Foundation (Community Builder Award), Rhonda Barad (Chesed Award), Hon. Herb Berman (Chesed Award), former Whjite House aide, Jarrod Bernstein (Chesed Award), Jerry H. Goldfeder, Esq. (Tzedek Award), Ilana Kaplan (Next Generation Award) and Michael Wollin (Next Generation Award).
Honorees and elected officials, including candidates for NYC Mayor, gave brief remarks on the importance of social services and issues concerning New York’s Jewish community. Many applauded Met Council for forty years of work helping New York’s neediest.
“I want to thank Met Council for all the hard work they do. We have many great traditions in the Jewish culture, but above all is tzedekah – helping those who need help. It is one of the three highest good deeds in the Talmud. I want to thank Met Council for doing tzedekah. You have done an amazing job, not only tzedekah, but a street smart mentality about how to get stuff done,” said US Senator Chuck Schumer.
“Since 2002 that I’ve been coming here, this organization has made so much [of a] difference in so many lives. In the last 12 years, Met Council has more than doubled the number of affordable housing [units] created, from just under 1,000 to more than 2,000 today, much of it done in partnership with our city’s ambitious affordable housing plan. Next Monday, Met Council will break ground on another 188 units of assisted affordable living housing in Staten Island, and it’s the first housing of its kind in our city,” said Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
“And of course this group does so much more than providing families with good quality homes. They also provide vitally important social services. Met Council’s partnership was especially important in the days and weeks after Hurricane Sandy hit us so hard. The organization continues to help families in affected areas to help get them back on their feet.I want to salute Merryl and Willie Rapfogel and the entire team at Met Council for their work.”
(Article and Photo: The Jewish Voice)