The JCRC-NY held its annual Congressional breakfast this past Sunday, February 4, at UJA-Federation of New York’s Midtown East headquarters. Bennett W. Golub, President, delivered opening remarks; Cheryl Fishbein, Chair of the Board, presented an introduction for the Congressional presentations; and Noam Gilboord, Interim CEO, offered acknowledgements and closing remarks, while Honorable Mark Treyger, incoming CEO, kicked off with the program’s greetings to the 300+ guests. Israel’s war against Hamas, the future of US-Israel relations, and a surge in anti-Semitism dominated the mic, highlighted by Ronen and Orna Neutra’s remarks, as they yearn to hug their 22-year-old son Omer, held hostage by Hamas.

Treyger, a grandson of Holocaust survivors and World War II veterans, a son of immigrants from the former Soviet Union, a former public-school teacher, and a former NYC Council Member and public servant, will be at the forefront of grassroots coalition-building to ensure that Jewish identity is embraced while advancing shared goals of a more safe, inclusive, and connected metropolis. He will be leaving the Adams administration, where he has served as Director of Intergovernmental Affairs for NYC Public Schools since 2022.

Rep. Meng stands with Plainview's Neutra family whose son and brother Omer is held by Hamas.


US Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer and seven additional Members of New York’s Downstate Congressional Delegation attended, including House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries, and US Representatives Adriano Espaillat, Dan Goldman, Mike Lawler, Grace Meng, Jerrold Nadler, and Ritchie Torres, as well as Ambassador Tsach Saar, Acting Consul General of Israel in NY; UJA-Federation’s Rabbi Michael S. Miller, CEO Emeritus; Hindy Poupko, Sr. VP, Community Strategy and External Relations, and Hon. Daniel Rosenthal, VP for Government Relations, Community Security Initiative’s Executive Director Mitchell Silber, David Aronov (Community & External Relations), and JCRC-NY Board Members Shimi Pelman, Jennifer Falk, Judge Ruchie Freier, Jonathan Greenspun, Karen Kasner, and Brad Korn. Queens dignitaries included JCCRP Executive Director Allison Deal, JFK Dem. Club President Keith Felsenfeld, Project Lead Executive Director Rabbi Avrohom Hecht, QJA’s Sorolle Idels, Hon. Karen Koslowitz, Kehilat Sephardim’s Rabbi Shlomo Nisanov, Tovia Paris, Rabbi Daniel Pollack, QJL’s Yaakov Serle, Alan Sherman, Sam Verstandig of AM Weprin’s office, YIKGH President Stuart Verstandig, Rabbi Mayer Waxman (Executive Director of the Queens Jewish Community Coumcil, and me (on behalf of Queens Shmira and Chaverim of Queens and Great Neck).

Rep. Dan Goldman, 4th from right with NY Gov.'s Dep. Dir. Eva Wyner; Radio Host Zev Brenner, Sephardic liaison, NYC Comp. Auditor Igor Galanter; Activist Ushi Teitelbaum , Shabsie Saphirstein, Yaakov Serle, NYC Council Speaker Jewish liaison Pesach Osina (l-r)


Among the 300 guests were NYC Comptroller Brad Lander; Borough Presidents Vanessa Gibson, Bronx; Mark Levine, Manhattan; Donovan Richards, Queens; District Attorneys Darcel Clark, Bronx; Eric Gonzalez, Brooklyn; NYS Senators Leroy Comrie, Brad Hoylman-Sigal, Liz Krueger, Shelley Mayer, Steve Rhoads, and Kevin Thomas; NYS Assembly Members Sam Berger, Alex Bores, Kenny Burgos, Brian Cunningham, Jeff Dinowitz, Harvey Epstein, Eddie Gibbs, Andrew Hevesi, Alicia Hyndman, Grace Lee, Dana Levenberg, Stacey Pheffer-Amato, Linda Rosenthal, Tony Simone, Rebecca Seawright, Steve Stern, Al Taylor, and David Weprin; and NYC Council Members Eric Bottcher, Gale Brewer, Eric Dinowitz, and Julie Menin. Diplomats joined from Austria, Argentina, Bulgaria, Germany, Israel, Serbia, Romania, and Ukraine.

CM Erik Bottcher, AM Steve Stern, Bronx DA Darcel Clark, AMs Stacey Pheffer-Amato, Sam Berger, Grace Lee, & Alicia Hyndman (l-r).jpg


The QJL extends a note of appreciation to Howard M. Pollack, Director of Community Affairs, JCRC-NY, for being a powerful activist.

By Shabsie Saphirstein
Photos by Saul Joseph of Universe Promotions