On Sunday evening, March 13, Dr. Elie and Golda Fried opened their home in honor of Congress Member Grace Meng in what has become an annual event on behalf of NORPAC. Always on the mission to promote and further the US-Israel relationship through fundraising efforts for Senators and Members of the House of Representatives who support the cause, NORPAC keeps its membership alert through emails and their annual Mission to Washington, this year presented virtually on the week of May 9. The May mission, chaired in part by Kew Gardens Hills resident David Steinberg of Summit Funding, will include meetings discussing critical issues affecting the US-Israel relationship with over 400 Congressional offices. Other issues set to be discussed include crucial security aid to Israel, how best to counter Iran, and combating anti-Semitism.

Over the years, Rep. Meng, a member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, has shined as an outstanding supporter of Israel, including being on the forefront of a key spending package in July 2019 that brought US aid in the form of military and anti-missile assistance to the region to the tune of $500 million. Meng has fought for Holocaust education and for spending on combating anti-Semitism. Also, Meng called for aid to ensure that Israel maintains its qualitative military edge over those in its proximity, including anti-tunnel measures, and for at least $5 million to help refugees from the former Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, and other regions resettle in Israel. Such aid is currently being mentioned for Ukrainian refugees landing in Israel.

Locally, Meng has been behind various community security initiatives, including financing for security upgrades in yeshivos and houses of worship. Notably, Meng, who was elected Vice Chair of the Democratic National Committee in 2016, was one of first Democrats to speak in opposition to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA) and, as such, the Jewish community looks to her to continue support of the values we hold dear.

The Sunday event was chaired by Mr. Steinberg and his wife Dina, and District Leader Shimi & Dini Pelman, and sponsored by the Frieds, David &Paula Berger, Dr. David & Barbara Bortniker, Ben & Esther Chouake, Shimmy & Sorolle Idels, Meshulam & Tova Lisker, Adam Mermelstein, Chaim & Aliza Mermelstein, Bernie & Chaya Shafran, and Alan Sherman.

By Shabsie Saphirstein