The rabbi who founded the Chabad of Northeast Queens, a community outreach program, was honored at the City Council’s first meeting of the year.
Rabbi Yossi Blesofsky conducted the ceremonial invocation at the gathering, traditionally known as the charter meeting.
“I feel privileged to be here particularly as a Chabad Lubavitch Rabbi, due to the very special connection between Chabad Lbubavitch and New York City going back to 1940, when New York was chosen as the headquarters for the movement, and the Grand Rebbe, Rabbi Schneerson took up his residence in Brooklyn,” said the rabbi at the meeting.
He described the Chabad as part of a worldwide Jewish social outreach movement known as the Chabad Lubavitch, to help “anyone and everyone who needs help.” His wife, Dina, is the preschool director at the Chabad and partners with Blesofsky to perform community work.
Blesofsky grew up in Australia and came to the United States in 1987 for rabbinical studies. He became a full-fledged rabbi in 1990. The following year, he moved to Bayside to establish the Chabad of Northeast Queens in a rental apartment on 204th Street.
Since then, the Chabad has grown to house an arts and science academy with 130 students and serves as a community service center.
He said he also has friends in places ranging from Denver, Liverpool to Singapore, who are performing similar work, catering to the needs of their location.
The Chabad sponsors a free lending library, parenting education, after school programs for children and an adult education institute.
“Rabbi Blesofsky has been a spiritual leader in Northeast Queens for over two decades,” said Councilmember Dan Halloran. “I appreciate his leadership and guidance for thousands of my constituents, and I am proud to call him a friend.”
The Chabad of Northeast Queens is located at 26-06 213th Street in Bayside. More information about the Chabad and its programs can be found at http://www.chabadnequeens.com/.