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For Immediate Release: Contact:
Monday, March 17. 2003 Corey Bearak
(718) 343-6779

Sponsored by Queens and Northeast Queens Jewish Community Councils March 30 @ Samuel Field Y

City Council Speaker Gifford Miller headlines Legislative Forum 2003, Sunday, March 30, 2003 - 26AdarII 5763 announced Jan Fenster, President of the Queens Jewish Community Council ["QJCC"], and Jeffrey Gurdus, President of the Northeast Queens Jewish Community Council ["NEQJCC"]. "Our Councils are pleased to present the Speaker of the New York City Council to our community," stated Corey B. Bearak, Chair of the NEQJCC�s Executive Committee and QJCC Executive Vice President, who arranged the program. The event, hosted by the two councils and co-sponsored by the Samuel Field/ Bay Terrace YM&YWHA, takes place 9:00 a.m. at the "Y", 58-20 Little Neck Parkway in Little Neck. The event is free and open to the public. A light breakfast will be served. People wishing to attend are advised to make reservations by March 28. Call the QJCC at (718) 544-9033 or the NEQJCC at (718) 225-6750 extension 247.

Legislative Forum 2003, an annual program of the two Councils and the Y, also invites the Borough�s legislators to meet and greet their constituents. The Forum begins with the serving of a light breakfast at 9:00 a.m. and usually concludes in under two hours. In the past years, the breakfast attracted many community and civic leaders in addition to members of the Councils� member-organizations.

QJCC President Fenster said: "`Our City and borough faces critical issues this year and we welcome the opportunity to allow community members to engage in a dialogue with Speaker Miller and other elected officials."

Mr..Gurdus stated: "Our Councils enjoy a special partnership and we look forward to working cooperatively to present this Legislative Forum and other events to benefit the Queens and Northeast Queens communities."

QJCC Executive Director Manny Behar added: "This forum presents an important opportunity to show decision-makers the strength and unity of the Queens Jewish community." NEQJCC Executive Director Gail Eisenberg noted: "By coming out on March 30, we can be sure that our voices will be heard when critical decisions that impact on our community are made."

Mr. Bearak said NEQJCC, an association of 30 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 , 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. Its website, www.northeastqueensjewish.org, features a community calendar."

Mr. Gurdus said annual programs include its Installation of Officers and Awards Breakfast each fall, the lighting of the largest Chanukah Menorah in Queens, a Purim Carnival at the Samuel Field Y, and its Legislative Forum each Spring. This year, the Council, together with Queens Region Hadassah and the Consulate of Israel, hosted the Ben Yeduda Street Comes to Bayside, an Israeli Gifts Fair, Sunday, October 27 at Bayside Jewish Center, which attracted thousands of visitors who purchased direct from Israeli merchants and listened to Israeli entertainers. Dr. Sandra Alfonsi chaired and coordinated the fair. A beneficiary of UJA-Federation, the NEQJCC works closely with the QJCC, Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater New York, Metropolitan 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.

The QJCC is an umbrella organization for more than 90 synagogues and institutions throughout the borough, as well as five regional Jewish community councils. The Queens Council provides a wide range of legal and social services which include benefits counseling, distribution of security devices to senior citizens, employment placement for new immigrants and distribution of food and emergency assistance to the poor. The Council has sponsored educational and cultural programs and mobilizes the Jewish community's response to issues of concern such as support for Israel, combating anti-Semitism and local issues which impact on the Jewish community.

The Samuel Field YM-YWHA, a not-for-profit Jewish social service organization, provides a comprehensive program of social services and education, recreation and Jewish culture for families, children, teenagers, single parents, adults and seniors, primarily residing in northeast Queens and Great Neck, regardless of race, creed or religion. The Y's commitments to the needs of special populations include quality programs for the mentally retarded, the learning and developmentally disabled, people suffering from dementia and related memory disorders and a mental health service for older adults experiencing emotional and psychological disorders.




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