Colors: Blue Color

Right after the first day of Pesach, we enter a seven-week cycle known as S’firas HaOmer (the Counting of the Omer). The 49 days from Pesach to Shavuos really represent a journey of 49 steps to spiritual growth and emotional refinement that help us renew our acceptance of the Torah on an individual level.

Since the pandemic started, JEP/Nageela has still been providing original and fun interactive content to dozens of Jewish children each week. Some of the popular programming include the “WhoDa Thunk?!” bi-weekly game show with prizes; “Phoneg” Shabbat onegs, and online reunions that have brought kids together from all over the country.

At a time when the world is quiet, people are scared and confused, and personal lives have become isolated, remembering those who have perished in the Holocaust and those who survived and the strength they conjured to get by each minute takes on an even greater meaning. As time distances us from the Shoah, our connection to living survivors also becomes distant. On Tuesday, April 21, the Yeshiva of Central Queens presented two Yom HaShoah programs on Zoom to remind us of the importance it is to be Jews, to fight and stand up for what we know is right, and to take accountability for our obligation and our responsibility to really listen to their stories, to learn from those stories, to remember them, and to pass the stories of living testimony on to our children.


Dear Neighbors,

My next COVID-19 Virtual Town Hall is TOMORROW at 2:00 p.m., and is focused on Senior Citizens. Panelists from NYC Department for the AgingAARP New YorkQueens Community House, and a local nursing home will share information and take your questions live. Join on Zoom at or by phone at (646) 558-8656 with code 953 1343 8323.

As always, please contact my office with any questions or concerns at (718) 217-4969, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or via Facebook and Twitter (@RoryLancman). You can also visit my office’s new COVID-19 information page to previous Covid-19 newsletters and Virtual Town Halls.
Stay safe and strong,

Rory I. Lancman


What's New

·    The State Board of Elections cancelled New York’s Democratic presidential primary, which was scheduled for June 23. Polling places are expected to remain open for other elections, including Queens Borough President. The State Board of Elections previously announced that mail-in ballot applications will be sent to all registered voters next month to reduce the number of people gathering at polling places.

·    Mayor de Blasio made several significant announcements today:

o        Suspension of alternate side parking has been extended through at least May 12.

o        COVID-19 testing sites run by city hospitals will begin to offer self-administered tests in which residents swab their own noses and mouths. The self tests will substantially increase the number of tests administered.

o        The city is hiring 1,000 “contact tracers” to locate and contact people who have or had Covid-19 with instructions on caring for themselves and others.

o        City Hall and the City Council reached an agreement to close 40 miles of streets to vehicle traffic to provide more room for outdoor recreation while social distancing guidelines remain in effect. The locations and dates of street closures have not yet been determined, but the mayor said streets near parks will be prioritized as the weather gets warmer.



What You Need

·    Hunter College is piloting a program that brings care packages of food for Hunter students to locations in your community. The school selected locations that are in close proximity to the areas where we have seen the most need, including our district. A Hunter College van will visit the corner of Sutphin Boulevard and Hillside Avenue daily from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. this week. 

·    New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli created a COVID-19 Financial Survival Toolkit with resources and links to give you easy access to vital assistance and information on issues such as paying your bills and assistance for small businesses. 


What To Do

·    Invisible Hands is a group of engaged volunteers from communities at the least risk for severe COVID-19 reactions working to bring groceries and supplies to those in high-risk demographics. The new nonprofit organization matches individual volunteers with at-risk New Yorkers closeby. Learn about becoming a volunteer or requesting a delivery.