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For Immediate Release: Contact:
FRIDAY, MARCH 31, 2006 Corey Bearak
(718) 343-6779

LEGISLATIVE FORUM 2006 Features "The Race For Governor"
Newsday, Northeast Queens Jewish Community Council, Queens Civic Congress, �Met. Council� on Jewish Poverty sponsor Forum @ Samuel Field Y, April 2, 9:30 a.m.

         Nine Community groups, joined by Newsday invited those who would be Governor to speak at Legislative Forum 2006, Sunday, April 2, 2006 - 4 Nisan 5766 . The event, hosted by Newsday, Northeast Queens Jewish Community Council ["NEQJCC"], Parker Jewish Institute for Health Care & Rehabilitation [�Parker�], UJA-Federation, Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty [�Met Council�], The Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater New York (JCRC), Queens Civic Congress, New York City Central Labor Council, Queens Region-Hadassah and The Samuel Field/Bay Terrace YM&YWHA takes place 9:30 a.m. at the "Y", 58-20 Little Neck Parkway in Little Neck. The Forum begins with a light breakfast - courtesy of Parker.

         A posting on the www.northeastqueensjewish.org website confirms three of five candidates [Randy Daniels, John Faso and Thomas Suozzi] have already. William E. Rapfogel, CEO of Met Council, and NEQJCC Chairman Corey Bearak chair the program and Newsday reporter Dan Janison will reprise his 2005 role as moderator. Despite two candidates not confirming their participation, last year's forum, �The Mayor and those who would be Mayor,� included EVERY candidate.

         The letter of invitation to each candidate stated "We envision the program starting with each candidate receiving up to five minutes for opening remarks. After all the candidates speak, the audience can pose questions (not longer than 30 seconds) to a specific or any combination of candidates. Each candidate whether directed the question or not may have up to 90 seconds to respond. We do not envision closing remarks. While we generally plan to conclude at 11:30 a.m.; no space or time limitations exist and we can allow for further questions if audience interest exists. Prior to and after the mayoral program, time-permitting, we generally welcome greetings from our local elected officials (This is the practice in years when the Legislative Forum features a Keynote Speaker.). We will not accept surrogates."

         The Forum begins with the serving of a light breakfast - courtesy of Parker Jewish Institute - at 9:30 a.m. and usually concludes in under two hours.  People wishing to attend are advised to make reservations by March 31.  Call the NEQJCC at (718) 225-6750 extension 247. 

         Legislative Forum 2006, an annual program of the NEQJCC and the Y, also invites the Borough's legislators to meet and greet their constituents.  The breakfast attracted many community and civic leaders in addition to members of the Councils' member-organizations.

         NEQJCC President Jeffrey Mr. Gurdus stated: "We look forward to working cooperatively with our fellow sponsors to present this Legislative Forum and other events to benefit Northeast Queens communities."  NEQJCC Executive Director Gail Eisenberg added: "This forum presents an important opportunity to show decision-makers the strength and unity of the Jewish community."   Y Executive Director Steve Goodman noted:  "By coming out on April 2, we can be sure that our voices will be heard when critical decisions that impact on our community are made."

         The NEQJCC, an association of 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).  NEQJCC projects include a pre-Passover food Drive which concludes at the forum, neighborhood development, Jewish continuity, Lay Leadership, social action, promoting involvement and volunteer opportunities, fostering intergroup understanding and building a multi-cultural coalition. 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.   Its newest program, the Harmony Initiative or �HI� represents a collaboration funded by the City Council including the Office of the Queens District Attorney, the City Commission on Human Rights and the Northeast Queens Branch-NAACP.  The NEQJCC helped form the NORC-WOW, a pilot program to serve seniors in one and two family homes.  It publishes a (four-fold, 8.5 by 14-inch) brochure, You Can Have It All, touting life in northeast Queens communities, also available through its website, www.northeastqueensjewish.org, which also 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. In 2002 and 2004, the Council, together with Queens Region Hadassah and the Consulate of Israel, hosted the Ben Yeduda Street Comes to Bayside, an Israeli Gifts, which attracted thousands of visitors who purchased direct from Israeli merchants and listened to Israeli entertainers. A beneficiary of UJA-Federation, the NEQJCC works closely with the Queens Region-Hadassah, Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater New York, Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty and the Samuel Field/Bay Terrace YM&WHA, noted Executive Director Gail Eisenberg who can be reached at (718) 225-6750 x247 or via email at gail@northeastqueensjewish.org.


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