Project Lead held an especially memorable pre-Purim luncheon for Holocaust survivors and other frail Jewish elderly at Prestige Restaurant in Rego Park. Lonely elderly dressed up for the occasion and were treated to a sumptuous four-course dinner. The event also included live music that was very well received. Frail seniors also received hamantashen boxes as a take-home souvenir.

One of the distinguished Shoah survivors was Ernest Rusz, who lived through the perils of several concentration camps only to be later imprisoned by the Soviet Union’s internal ministry NKVD upon his post-war return to Hungary. Another celebrated survivor was Vladimir Epshteyn who rose as a leader amongst other survivors. Epshteyn also found himself imprisoned, this time by the KGB, for the awful offense of reading Western materials.

Project Lead thanks Alexa Arecchi, Chief of Staff for Assemblymember Andrew Hevesi, and Raymondo Graziano, Chief of Staff for State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr., for attending the event and bringing special greetings from their respective offices. Kudos to our partners in state government, including State Senator Addabbo, Assemblymember Hevesi, and their colleague, Assemblymember David Weprin, in addition to NYS Office of Family and Children Services.