By COLlive reporter
Photos: Shimi Kutner/COLlive
Elected officials, community activists and residents came together Sunday morning for the Joint Legislative Brunch of the Crown Heights Jewish Community Council (CHJCC) and Jewish Children’s Museum (JCM).
The event highlighted the work of both community institutions in fostering positive relations with the greater Crown Heights community. It honored key figures who serve Crown Heights.
Errol Louis, host of NY1’s Inside City Hall, emceed the event. Welcome remarks were given by Ms. Devorah Halberstam, the Museum’s Director of External Affairs, and Rabbi Eli Cohen, Executive Director of the CHJCC.
New York City Council Member Laurie Cumbo was then presented with an award by New York City Council Speaker, Melissa Mark-Viverito.
The Speaker also acknowledged members of the City Council’s Brooklyn Delegation, David Greenfield, Chaim Deutsch, and Mathieu Eugene.
New York State Assembly Member Walter Mosley received the Community Advocate Award presented by Chanina Sperlin, the CHJCC Executive Vice President for Governmental Affairs.
The Legislator Award was given to New York State Senator Jesse Hamilton, presented by Devorah Halberstam.
NYPD Inspector Eddie Lott was awarded the Public Safety Award, presented by New York City Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill. Commissioner O’Neill spoke briefly about Thursday’s tragic car ramming in New York’s Times Square, in which a woman was killed and 20 others injured.
“The reaction of all new Yorkers was truly amazing and inspiring,” he said. “The help that they offered to all the injured was incredible. A lot of things go on in New York City, I don’t know if we have the right reputation around the world…but this is the greatest city in the world,” he said.
Commissioner O’Neill was joined at the podium by Chief Susan Jaffe, Chief Steven Powers and Chief Scholl, and members of Inspector Lott’s family for the presentation as well.
The Dedicated Service Award was then presented to Det. Vincent Martinos — 71 Pct Community Affairs NYPD and Lt. Ira Jablonsky — Brooklyn South Community Affairs, who was joined at the podium by his father, Douglas Jablon, and by his other family members.
Zaki Tamir, Chairman of the Crown Heights Jewish Community Council, then presented the Justice Award to Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez.
The Community Service Award was then presented to Mayor Bill DeBlasio’s Senior Community Liaison Pinny Ringel. The award was presented by NYC Council Member David Greenfield.
In accepting the award, Ringel praised Chanina Sperlin for his dedication for the community, never ceasing to look out for the community interest, day and night.
The Journalism Award was presented to Mrs. Mica Soffer, publisher of COLlive.com. In her presentation, Devorah Halberstam described how Soffer first began the COLlive and how it had developed into a community institution, bringing community news to the entire community and the world. Errol Louis commented that outside commentators like him look to COLlive to help them get the pace of the community.
The Chesed Award was then presented to Mr. Joseph Popack by Rabbi Yerachmiel Benjaminson, Executive Director of the Jewish Children’s Museum, who described Popack as a friend and supporter of the Museum.
Businessman George Arzt then received an award on behalf of Cornell Realty and the Hager Family, presented by Congresswoman Yvette Clarke.
Greetings were also heard from NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer, and NY State Assemblywoman Dianna Richardson.
Also in attendance were JCC of Marine Park – Shea Rubenstein, COJO of Flatbush — Louis Welz, JCC of Greater Coney Island — Rabbi Moshe Wiener, Jewish Community Relations Council — Rabbi Michael Miller, Newly installed President of Downstate University Medical Center Dr. Wayne J. Riley, Rabbi of Downstate Rabbi Yitschak Holtzman, Chairman of 77th Precinct Community Council James Caldwell and Chairman of 71st Precinct Community Council Karl Cohen.