From the desk of Rabbi Leonard (Yehuda) Blank MS, BCC
Director of Chaplaincy Commission and External Affairs
Rabbinical Alliance of America/Igud Harabonim

On Tuesday November 12th, 2019 Rabbi Leonard Blank MS. BCC Director of Chaplaincy Commission and External Affairs attended a press conference at Brooklyn Borough Hall with Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams announcing a new initiative with the ADL to help combat violent anti-semitic, violence, harassment and vandalism occurring especially in Brooklyn neighborhoods. Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO shared a new initiative where outreach educational programs and resources in collaboration with the NYC BOE and UFT at public schools especially in those Brooklyn neighborhoods where those acts of violence, harassment and vandalism have occurred. The ADL believes these trends are reversable and the hate-crime are preventable – when public officials, community and faith leaders, educators and others stand united against hate. Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez shared how his office especially his Hate Crimes Unit is actively doing whatever can be done to investigate and prosecute hate crimes working with other law enforcement agencies to seek out those who perpetrate such hate crimes.

Rabbi Eli Cohen, Executive Director of the Crown Heights Jewish Community Council, shared how some of those similar initiatives have been an eye opener for many public school students, especially after learning about the Holocaust and visiting the Jewish Heritage Museum. He acknowledged the positive relationships with NYPD, elected officials, other faith leaders and representatives of anti–hate agencies many who were present at this press conference. Rabbi Cohen stressed that in spite of the serious hateful crimes that must be taken seriously, it is also important to note all the positive aspects of those neighborhoods.

Mr. Greenblatt shared how important it convey to the American public the importance of fighting anti- Semitism and the general environment of hatred against others which has been occurring throughout the USA and to do so now, before it escalates even further. Rabbi Blank was also interviewed by CBS News who shared how the new initiative for students with the support of others is a good beginning and we could only try our best. Anti-semitism and acts of hatred towards others can be found not just in NYC, but throughout the USA and must be taken seriously. He shared the importance of enhancing kindness, and caring for others as Americans and New Yorkers. Pastor Gilford T. Monrose, Director Faith – Based & Clergy Initiatives Office of Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams coordinated this press conference. Abe Friedman is the Director of Intergovernmental Affairs for the Office of the Brooklyn Borough President.

On behalf of the Chaplaincy Commission of the Rabbinical Alliance of America Rabbi Blank offers much praise and congratulations to Rabbi Yisrael Kahan for the amazing article in the Boro Park View “Being the Bridge” Issue 8,
November 6, 2019 and the remarkable acts of chesed he does as a hospital liaison at the Westchester Medical Center.
Though many of us know what a Board Certified Chaplain is and does, many are not aware of what hospital liaisons do
and this article is an eye opener. Rabbi Kahan is a member of the Rabbinical Alliance of America /Igud Harabonim and an active member of the Jewish Medical Liaison Group. JMLG members can be found in many leading medical centers and hospitals in New York . On how to reach a liaison at a specific hospital /medical center you can contact Rabbi Kahan at 845-232-1303.

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