Colors: Blue Color


Dear Neighbors,

Happy Friday. It was a busy week, including the reopening of the New York City Council. There is still a great deal of work to do in the weeks ahead, but I am enthusiastic about our work to bring COVID-19 relief to our district and the city as a whole. 
Our next COVID-19 Virtual Town Hall focusing on senior citizens is this Tuesday, April 28th. My office will share details on how to join the conversation in the coming days. 
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 as a resource, and a place to find past email newsletters and Virtual Town Halls.
Stay safe and strong,

Rory I. Lancman
What's New
  • Deaths from the Coronavirus continued their gradual descent, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said on Friday, with the state recording 422 more deaths, the smallest number since April 1. The state death toll now stands at 16,162. One area of concern remains the number of virus patients newly admitted to hospitals. After dropping almost 35 percent from last Friday to Tuesday, it has fallen only another 5 percent since then.
  • Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the city will no longer force correction officers to work 24 hours straight, after their union sued the city over the practice.
What You Need
  • Gov. Cuomo announced the state Board of Election will send every registered voter a postage-paid application for an absentee ballot for the primary election on June 23. 
  • The City Bar Justice Center’s new COVID-19 Small Business Remote Legal Clinic offers pro bono legal consultations to small business owners to help them understand and act upon options available under the federal government’s COVID-19 stimulus package and other opportunities available through federal, state and local programs.
  • Gov. Cuomo unveiled a new text message program today to aid victims of domestic abuse. The text service will be staffed 24/7 by domestic violence caseworkers. New Yorkers seeking help can text (844) 997-2121 or chat with a professional on the new confidential website at Calls to the state's domestic violence hotline are up 30 percent in April compared to last year and calls increased 18 percent from February to March 2020. State Police also report domestic violence incident calls were up 15 percent in March compared to last year.

What To Do

  • Health officials warned New Yorkers that it is dangerous to swallow or inject household disinfectants despite conflicting information from the federal government. Makers of Lysol also warned that its cleaning products were not meant to be swallowed or injected.
  • Relive Linsanity! The New York Knicks announced MSG Network will air nine games from February of 2012, starting with the birth of Linsanity against the New Jersey Nets on Monday. The highlight is Jeremy Lin’s 38-point sizzler against the Los Angeles Lakers, which will replay on Wednesday.




Teach NYS, a project of the Orthodox Union, commended New York City’s Department of Education (“DOE”) Monday for moving to offer kosher and halal options during all three daily “grab and go” meal pick-ups. The organization also thanked Councilman Mark Tregyer, Chair of the Council’s Education Committee, Councilman Chaim Deutsch, chair of the Council’s Jewish Caucus, Councilman Kalman Yeger, and Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein for their leadership. 

From grocery pickups to delivering medical supplies, here’s how you can help (or get help)

As the coronavirus pandemic took hold of the Queens area, the ever-present characteristic of kindness emerged throughout our community. Existing organizations, schools, businesses, and individuals materialized in the most astonishing and amazing ways, showcasing our inherently Jewish qualities. Distributions helplines were formed for food, medicine, medical equipment, and everything in between. The unity of our society continues to be one of the most heart-warming manifestations of mi k’amcha Yisrael, “Who is like Your nation, the Jewish people?”

Survivors of COVID-19 seek a way to help those suffering, often feeling a sense of obligation. Blood plasma from rehabilitated COVID-19 patients has emerged as a promising treatment option to aid COVID-19 patients fighting for their lives. Those who have recovered from COVID-19 have built up antibodies in their bloodstream that can now follow its path and subsequently neutralize the virus in others. On March 24, the FDA released guidelines as an investigational new therapy whereby a recovered patient would donate his or her blood plasma in a process typical of an ordinary blood donation. “With few treatments available for COVID-19 patients, Agudath Israel of America was eager to explore options and see what could be done to help the many suffering,” says Avrohom Weinstock, Chief of Staff and Associate Director of Education for Agudath Israel. “After speaking with infectious disease experts, we were advised that the downsides of plasma donations are minimal and, with drugs and vaccines far from development, plasma therapy seemed logical to pursue. With that, we began encouraging our eligible constituents to donate plasma on [Wednesday,] April 1.”

It is a mitzvah of the Torah to count the days between Pesach and Shavuos – for Shavuos marks the calendar date when Hashem gave us the Torah. Although Iyar does not contain many holidays, every single day of the month is included in the S’firas HaOmer counting. S’firas HaOmer is a period of serious introspection and self-refinement, as we prepare ourselves to receive the Torah anew on Shavuos. Each day of Iyar represents another step in this spiritual journey toward Sinai.