By COLlive reporter
Photos: Baruch Ezagui/COLlive
New York City Council Member Jumaane Williams, who represents Flatbush, Marine Park and Midwood, often wondered why there was police presence in front of a specific building on Eastern Parkway.
Growing up in Brooklyn, he knew the three pointed red brick building was a synagogue but was not aware of its historical significance or global influence – until this week.
Jumaane and his Jewish liaison Boris Noble visited Crown Heights on Sunday to learn about the Jewish community and was then given a tour of 770 Eastern Parkway, known as Lubavitch World Headquarters.
Williams is running for New York City Public Advocate in the 2019 special election to succeed Letitia James and said he was glad to be able to visit 770 and meet local community activists.
The visit came after community activist Rabbi Yaacov Behrman invited the council member to visit Crown Heights, and learn about the post-war settlement of the Lubavitch community and see firsthand the important Chabad landmarks.
Williams began the visit with a tour of the WLCC offices at 770 where he viewed the old telephone equipment and photos of WLCC’s work, and heard a firsthand account from Rabbi Chaim Baruch Halberstam about the 500 phone lines that would broadcast the Rebbe‘s talks worldwide.
Jumaane then visited the Agudas Chassidei Chabad Library, adjacent to 770 Eastern Parkway, home to 250,000 books and manuscripts, and discussed the history of Chabad, and the remaining archive still being held in Russia with Chabad librarian Rabbi Berel Levine.
The evening ended with a meeting at NCFJE offices with the organization’s chairman Rabbi Shea Hecht, Mrs. Baila Olidort, Behrman, Mordechai Lightstone, Shlomie Hecht, and Mendy and Gadi Hershkop of Crown Heights Shomrim.
The group discussed with the council member the recent string of anti semitic attacks in the neighborhood, and the dire need for affordable housing for members of the Lubavitch community.