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For Immediate Release: Contact:
Wednesday, October 4, 2002 Corey Bearak
(718) 343-6779

Sunday, October 27, 2002, 11am - 6pm

Sponsored by Northeast Queens Jewish Community Council, Queens Region Hadassah and the Consulate of Israel @ Bayside Jewish Center, 203-05 32nd Avenue

With Chanukah approaching next month, New Yorkers have an opportunity to purchases Made In Israel gifts direct from merchants from Israel and support the State of Israel's economy when Jerusalem's Ben Yehuda Street Comes to Bayside, Queens, Sunday, October 27, 2002, announced Corey B. Bearak, chair of the Executive Committee of the Northeast Queens Jewish Community Council ["NEQJCC"].   Hadassah National Board Member Dr. Sandra Alfonsi said the  Israeli Gifts Fair from  11:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. at Bayside Jewish Center, 203-05 32nd Avenue NEQJCC, features Jewels of Jerusalem, Ora Gifts, Mr. T, TempleStore, Alexander & Danny Boy, I-deas,
King David Treasures, Jerusalem Judaica, Ben Yehuda Gifts, Ethnics,  Marcus Books, and Adi Jewelry. President Jeffrey Gurdus said the Council organized the Fair, also sponsored by Queens Region Hadassah, the Consulate of Israel and Bayside Jewish Center, to help the people of Israel who face tough economic times related to violence perpetrated by Palestinian and other terrorists.  Visitors to the fair will also enjoy Israeli music performed free (1:00- 4:00 p.m.), featuring special appearances by Yoel Sharabi, Ricky Pen., Shimon Pe'er, Lauren Pe'er, Uri Biton, and Dorit Zadok    For Information, contact Dr. Sandra Alfonsi, who chairs the fair, at (718) 229-6934.

Dr. Alfonsi reports the fair's vendors will be here direct from Jerusalem with jewelry, Judaica, crafts and much more.  "Our Ben Yehuda Street Comes to Bayside Fair offers attendees a chance to buy Chanukah presents "Made in Israel" for their family and friends and help our vendors who live and work in the State of Israel celebrate Chanukah," said Dr. Alfonsi, Past President of the Queens Region Hadassah.  "All revenue goes directly to our merchants."  Mr. Gurdus added, "Visitors can come and spend the day as they'll also be able to eat lunch in our glatt kosher cafeteria and enjoy Israeli music while they shop.  Chanukah starts barely a month later, November 29."

"Several of the vendors or their immediate family members were victims of the two largest suicide bombings on Ben Yehuda Street," explained Dr. Alfonsi.  "All of them have suffered tremendous financial losses over the past two years but  all of them know that we stand together as one family and that is why they are coming."

Dr. Alfonsi reported another way to help now: "Several of the vendors really need help with the purchase of their tickets and we ask anyone with a frequent flyer ticket to donate it."

The Ben Yehuda Comes to Bayside Fair offers prospective purchasers more than merely "visiting a website. Since its  spring 2002 opening, the website www.israelexport.org, attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors and has served supporters and friends of Israel all over the world, enabling them to assist Israel in a tangible way by the purchase of Israeli foods, wine, art, jewelry, books, Judaica, and much more. 

The NEQJCC and its co-sponsors bring merchants direct from Jerusalem to Queens in a show of solidarity that offers an opportunity to see and buy merchandise direct from Israel.   "By buying from Israeli merchants at the Ben Yehuda Street Comes to Bayside Fair, purchasers will make certain that the light of Chanukah fills the lives of Israeli merchants and their families as we delight our family and friends with gifts from Jerusalem.," said Dr. Alfonsi.

"As Israel continues to struggle against terrorism, the solidarity between Israel and the American Jewish community remains strong and continues to grow," stated Israel's Ambassador to the United States, Daniel Ayalon, in a recent "Dear Friends" letter. "We were deeply moved by the numerous requests for ways to support Israel's economy and your increased interest in Israeli businesses. Your partnership is vital to Israel's well-being and is greatly appreciated."

Mr. Bearak said the NEQJCC, an association of 29 synagogues and other religious, education, fraternal and community organizations, covers Bay Terrace, Bayside, Bellerose, Douglaston, Floral Park, Fresh Meadows, Glen Oaks, Holliswood, Hollis Hills, Jamaica Estates, Little Neck, New Hyde Park, Oakland Gardens and Queens Village (north).

"Our projects include Project Liberty, neighborhood development, Jewish continuity, Lay Leadership, social action, fostering intergroup understanding and building a multi-cultural coalition," said Mr. Bearak.  "The Council combats anti-Semitism and discrimination, sponsors forums with major public figures, Jewish cultural events, open discussions with local Rabbis and represents community concerns.  The Council publishes a (4-fold 8.5 by 14-inch) brochure, You Can Have It All, touting life in northeast Queens Communities, including a map locating its member synagogues and institutions.  It also maintains a community website, www.northeastqueensjewish.org."

Mr. Gurdus said annual programs include an Installation of Officers and Awards Breakfast each fall (Sunday, November 3, 11:00 a.m.. at Bellerose Jewish Center), the lighting of the largest Chanukah Menorah in Queens, a Purim Carnival at the Samuel Field YM&YWHA, and its annual Legislative Forum each Spring, co-sponsored by the Queens Jewish Community Council (QJCC), at the Y.  "Our Neighborhood Development program includes a unique pilot program to bring the resources of UJA-Federation agencies to NEQJCC member synagogues."

A beneficiary of UJA-Federation, the NEQJCC works closely with the QJCC, Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater New York, Metropolitan N.Y. Coordinating Council on Jewish Poverty and the Samuel Field Y, noted Executive Director Gail Eisenberg who can be reached at (718) 225-6750 x247 or via email at gail@northeastqueensjewish.org.  For more information on NEQJCC's collaboration with QJCC and Met Council on Project Liberty, email 911outreach@metcouncil.org.

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