On Thursday afternoon, June 3, Queens rabbonim and community leaders gathered at Haym Salomon Square by Vleigh Place and 72nd Avenue in Kew Gardens Hills to lend support to NYC Comptroller candidate David Weprin as the June 22 Primary election nears. Weprin, a Yeshiva of Central Queens graduate and Holliswood resident, has been a longtime public servant with vast knowledge in finance and is currently a local Assembly Member.

Rabbi Yaniv Meirov, CEO of Chazaq Organization, began the program, calling Weprin “a friend” and attesting to the fact that David has always been supportive to the community.

Rabbi Dov Lerner, the rabbi at Weprin’s shul, Young Israel of Jamaica Estates, spoke of David’s past. “In every public office David has ever held, he has given his commitment to every single one of his constituents, giving them prosperity and opportunity.” On the future, Rabbi Lerner foreshadowed, “Like cities all across the nation, we are facing incredible challenges as we recover from this pandemic, but also immense opportunity. David will bring to the city competence, experience, commitment, conviction, common sense, and creativity.”

An attorney by trade, Weprin is no stranger to the Orthodox Jewish community, having been involved in 20 years of locally elected office: 8 years in the City Council and now 11 ½ years in the Assembly. During Mario Cuomo’s Administration, Weprin spent four years as Deputy Superintendent - Deputy Commissioner of Banking for New York State, which followed a 25-year career on Wall Street with major firms in municipal finance, including floating bond issues that focused on infrastructure needs to build schools and hospitals – a function directly relevant to the office of the Comptroller. Weprin carries pertinent experience in the debt issuance function, also referred to as the long-term capital needs of New York City.

On the role of Comptroller and its value to our Jewish community, Rabbi Yoel Schonfeld, rav of Young Israel of Kew Gardens Hills, noted, “Every political position today speaks volumes, as they are each running to an extreme and we must have a voice in each. David Weprin is an old friend and we know he shares our values. We are so enthusiastic in trying to lend whatever support we can and see that he gets into this very vital position.”

Honored with overwhelming support from the Orthodox community, Weprin urged community leaders and rabbis to get their congregations out to vote. “All politics is local, and having the support of my own community is much appreciated.

Rabbi Moshe Taub, Rav of Young Israel of Holliswood-Holliswood Jewish Center, shared, “We are a group of rabbis who testify about our dear friend David Weprin, our member, and our congregant. We testify to his commitment to the Jewish community, and the entire community of New York. Regarding the uphill battle we face as the city bounces back post-COVID, Rabbi Taub added, “We have full confidence in David and we want you to have full confidence in David as we look to him to take care of our issues past, present, and future.”

On his nearly thirty-year relationship with David, Rabbi Yossi Blesofsky, Director of Chabad Lubavitch of Northeast Queens in Bayside, stated, “I never met anybody, any public official, so committed to his constituents.”

In speaking of a tragedy that befell the New Hyde Park neighborhood, Rabbi Lawrence Teitelman, rav Young Israel of New Hyde Park, recalled, “It was David Weprin who led the efforts and was there for us and the broader community.”

Rabbi Yaakov Lonner, a thirty-year acquaintance of Weprin, spoke of his commitment to education. “He has always been a friend to the community, available to provide assistance, and ensure that the schools in the community had that which they needed to function.”

Sorolle Idels of the Queens Jewish Alliance for Action exclaimed, “What an honor for us to have such a staunch advocate for our community in government. We look forward to continuing this relationship as David works his way up.”

Yaakov Serle, publisher this paper, reminisced, “We organized a tremendous event ‘Back the Blue,’ where our community was very involved with over 500 cars, and David Weprin was the only elected official who attended.”

Representing Far Rockaway, Pesach Osina added, “I am here to tell the world, tell everyone, that David Weprin is our number one choice for City Comptroller. David Weprin uses his role in government as Chairmanship of different committees to be out there and help everybody.”

Weprin has taken a resounding stance on public safety, earning him the endorsements of all five police unions who believe that with his background in finance – both in the public and private sectors – he is best qualified to invest their pension funds. “We are in a public crisis right now,” said Weprin. “Every day you read about another shooting, another killing; it’s killing industry, its killing tourism.”

It is important to note that all in attendance were representing themselves as individuals and not the institutions where they hold positions. Early voting begins June 13.

 By Shabsie Saphirstein