[Video below.] On Tuesday, July 24, 2012 Shema Kolainu-Hear Our Voices, a school and center for Children with Autism hosted their 10th Annual Legislative Breakfast at the Renaissance Ballroom in Brooklyn, New York. This year’s breakfast honored members of both the City Council and State Legislature in recognition of their efforts to help children with autism.
The annual event, chaired by Abe Eisner, who delivered greetings from Governor Andrew Cuomo as well as by John Catsimatidis CEO of Gristedes Supermarkets, was created to educate legislators about the urgency of autism care and research, raise support and awareness, and share ideas about working toward combating autism through effective public policy and legislation. In addition, communal leaders, civic and religious leaders, community philanthropists, and elected officials, were in attendance to pay tribute to several outstanding public officials and community leaders for their dedication in furthering the mission of Shema Kolainu.
The awardees were: Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder, State Leadership Award presented by Shema Kolainu Board Member Juby Shapiro, Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries, Public Service Award presented by Shema Kolainu Board Member Milton Weinstock, Councilmembers Mark Weprin, David Greenfield, and Brad Lander, Autism Initiative Appreciation Tribute. NYC Council Speaker Christine Quinn was presented with the City Legislative Leadership Award, while Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., was the recipient of the Appreciation Award.
The breakfast also celebrated the past, present and future of Brooklyn Community Board 12. Former Chair Alan Dubrow was recognized for 20 years of service, presented by Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, while Assemblyman Dov Hikind welcomed Yidel Perlstein as the new Chairman of Community Board #12. Public Advocate Bill de Blasio gave special recognition to the new leadership of the Boro Park Jewish Community Council by presenting an award to Executive Director Rabbi Yeruchim Silber representing the Board of Directors.
State Senator Eric Adams, Council Members Melissa Mark-Viverito and Dan Garodnick remarked on the importance of keeping funding for programs that support children with autism. Also in attendance were CM Letitia James, CM Lou Fiddler, District Leader Lincoln Restler, Assemblyman David Weprin, NY Board of Regents Member Kathleen Cashin, and City Council Finance Chair CM Domenic M. Recchia, Jr.
Thirteen years ago, Shema Kolainu opened its doors to three school age children — the first school and center of its kind. Today, hundreds of children benefit from Shema Kolainu’s center and home based services and programs. Said Dr. Joshua Weinstein, founder and president “It is a remarkable feat accomplished with Hashem’s help and guidance.”
The breakfast was coordinated by The Friedlander Group. Masters of Ceremony were Menachem Lubinsky, President and CEO of Lubicom Marketing Consulting and Kalman Yeger, a senior advisor to a number of elected officials.
Click here for a video from the event.