Senator Gillibrand Meets With Rockland Askanim

Senator Gillibrand Meets With Rockland Askanim

by M.C. Millman

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand visited Rockland County on Monday and met with Rockland community leaders at the Community Outreach Center in Monsey to discuss community concerns. 

The meeting was introduced by Town of Ramapo Chief of Staff Mona Montal, who organized the gathering. Varying topics were brought up, such as ideas for combatting the rise of antisemitism, Rockland County's aging infrastructure, and the great need for additional funding for yeshivas. 

Legislator Aron Wieder spoke on behalf of Rockland's legislators, mentioning how apropos it was to be meeting at the Community Outreach Center, the office that represents all of Rockland County's vast network of yeshivas which the legislator mentioned is one of the largest in the State.

 "We appreciate the Senators empathizing with the community," Legislator Wieder shares with Rockland Daily. "given the attacks religious schools have undergone in the State of New York in recent years, it's refreshing to hear that religion and faith mean so much to the Senator."

Executive Director of Community Outreach Council Rabbi Hersh Horowitz spoke on behalf of Rockland Yeshivas. 

"We appreciate the senator coming out to Monsey to listen to our community's concerns," Rabbi Horowitz shares exclusively with Rockland Daily, "especially regarding the concerning rise in antisemitism. We are grateful for the senator's commitment to increasing security funding for nonprofits, including shuls and schools. We look forward to working with her."

Village of Pomona Trustee Mendy Lasker spoke on behalf of local Villages. 

"I believe the meeting was very successful," Lasker shares with Rockland Daily readers,  "and people were very enthusiastic."

Director of Agudah's Rockland County Regional Office Rabbi Shragi Greenbaum spoke on behalf of the Agudah and Hatzoloh President Naftali Silverberg spoke on behalf of Hatzoloh EMS of Rockland. 

The senator expressed her willingness to address the community's needs as much as she could, such as by opening a satellite office in Rockland and noting, among other points, the availability of increased homeland security funding for nonprofits. The senator also said she would attempt to work on a year extension on the Federal Covid funding yeshivas need to spend, which was granted under the Emergency Assistance for Non-Public Schools and funded in the stimulus bill. New York's non-public schools only have until September to utilize the grant, which was initially meant to have been available for two and a half years instead of the fifteen months it was open for. 

"We had a great meeting with Senator Gillibrand," Town of Ramapo Supervisor Michael Specht shares with Rockland Daily, "and discussed a number of items of importance to the community and the Town. I explained how our population has grown 20 percent in ten years in contrast to other Towns in the region, which have lost population, and I urged the senator to assist us with federal funding for improving our infrastructure, including more sidewalks and street improvements, to accommodate our growing population. Senator Gillibrand was very receptive to the concerns raised by everyone and promised to follow up."

"I was very pleased to see that the Senator took notes on what was discussed," says Village of Spring Valley Trustee Sruly Eisenbach. "She also assured us she would work on grants for our aging infrastructure and to combat antisemitism."

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