By COLlive reporter
The annual Congressional Breakfast of the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of New York drew a crowd of 300 people on February 10, despite the snow storm.
Nine Congress Members, city-wide officials, diplomats and more than 300 Jewish and other ethnic and religious leaders attended the morning affair.
Duly noted was the presence of politicos vying to become mayor of New York City: City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Comptroller John Liu, former Comptroller Bill Thompson, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, and Republican Joseph Lhota, former deputy of Rudy Giuliani.
And while Mayor Michael Bloomberg recently dismissed all candidates as “ridiculous” (except for Quinn), at the JCRC they were warmly welcomed, chatting with familiar and new faces.
“Is there a significant potential Dem candidate for Mayor of NYC who is not at the JCRC congressional breakfast?” tweeted one participant, Matthew Ackerman.
Rabbi Michael Miller, CEO of JCRC, made sure to state that “we are nonpartisan and embrace Republican and Democratic voices,” while adding that diplomats from Canada, Germany, Greece, Korea, and others were there.
Representing the Crown Heights Jewish Community Council were Eli Cohen (the Executive Director) and Chanina Sperlin (governmental liaison).
Also present were Devorah Halberstam – activist and Director of Foundation and Governmental Services for the Jewish Children’s Museum, Manhattan Shliach Rabbi Shmuly Metzger and political activist Yaacov Behrman.
A uniting purpose for all was Israel. “It is not Israel against Iran,” said Ido Aharoni, Israel’s Consul General in New York. “It is the International community against Iran. A nuclear Iran is a global problem.”
Aharoni noted that “Israel ranked number #1 innovator by Bloomberg News. The US – Israel business ties are worth billions.”
Brooklyn Congresswoman Yvette Clarke and others in attendance echoed that sentiment by saying that as the only democracy in the Mideast, Israel’s relationship with the United States “is a critical one in a volatile region.”
Clarke, flanked by her aide Eli Slavin, also said she is currently working on addressing the high costs of Yeshiva schools and “the crushing burden it is taking on the Orthodox Jewish community.”