The Bukharian community shared a joyous l’chaim with mayoral candidate Eric Adams this past Monday evening at the Forest Hills home of Mr. and Mrs. David Koptiev. The venue has been the destination of other influential political get-togethers and seemed most apropos for a formal Adams endorsement.
Rabbi Yaniv Meirov proudly added the Bukharian Jewish community to the long list of public endorsements. “The Flatbush Jewish Community Council, the Far Rockaway Jewish Alliance, the Crown Heights Jewish community, the Sephardic Community Federation, among many others have thrown their support behind Eric, and the Bukharian community stands united in support.”
For 22 years, Adams wore a bulletproof vest as a member of the NYPD. He continued on become a senator and currently serves as Brooklyn Borough President. The Jewish community has seen Adams fighting for Jewish rights, condemning antisemitism, and securing over $30 million in funding for various Jewish institutions. With public safety a foremost concern on the minds of Jewish voters, Adams’ tough stance on crime and reopening of the anti-crime unit resonate.
Koptiev began the evening explaining that Adams, like his family, built his career from the ground up. “Any worker, anyone that does anything in business, as a teacher or in whatever profession you may be in, starts from the bottom and goes to the top. That is how you know all the aspects.” Koptiev passed the floor to outgoing Council Member Karen Koslowitz, who passionately detailed her connection to the Bukharian community. Koslowitz, who previously endorsed Adams, has been an asset to Bukharian causes.
To a loud applause from those gathered, Koslowitz compared the plight of the Bukharian community to her own. “The Bukharian community is important to me. Because of my upbringing and my mother’s struggle coming from Poland, I wanted to help them. Today, they have grown, and it makes the heart kvell with glee to see how they have come so far.”
Adams directed his initials remarks to Ilya Koptiev, the family patriarch. “I was at your son’s Bar Mitzvah. After hearing your story and your son’s story, our stories are the same.” Adams beseeched children to always have their parents in mind, saying, “Knowing your glory is knowing your story.” Adams added that our youth often think that our accomplishments all came easy. “My mother gave me work ethic. This is my struggle with my son.”
Adams related to the struggles of others: “We all have the same worries. We moved away from a safe city and we will do all our work based on public safety,” and added, “I am not taking a gallop poll to stand up for what’s right.” Adams referenced a weekend with twenty shootings and lewdness in Manhattan, saying “This is not a norm for me.” He pledged to change the relationship with our public safety officers. Adams is keenly aware that people are afraid to go into the subways and are staying outside of Manhattan. “If you don’t perceive that you are safe, then you won’t go back into corporate America.” Adams also acknowledge the worsening issue of homelessness and that his 25-year-old son, Jordan Coleman of Brooklyn, will not be able to live in the same New York he once called home. Adams pinpointed “a failing educational system and landlords walking away from property” as prime reasons for city conditions.
Adams position on yeshivah education also strikes a chord in the Jewish community. Adams has repeatedly fought for the policies that protect Jewish values and spoke out against those who threatened private Jewish education. Adams has repeatedly said that “educational models should not be a one-size-fits-all. Children have a right to receive the best education, and not all communities, and not all parents take the same approach,” adding, “we want to get the best outcomes of students and not rely on heavy-handed investigations that lead to distrust.”
Those in attendance highlighted the growth of the Bukharian Jewish community since they came to Queens in 1991 and how the community is much more than material successes.
Kew Gardens Hills Bukharian community activist Nati Elishaev remarked on his childhood how he would look up to the mayors as a role model. “We see you as a mentor.”
Adam Suionov has long worked alongside political figures and cannot endorse a candidate but took a moment to share the importance of voting and the strength and resilience of the Bukharian community.
Shalom and Victoria Zirkiev are old friends of Adams. “We have been with him from the beginning,” noted Shalom, who called on the community to come out and vote.
Other comments in favor of Adams were shared by Ilya Koptiev, Daniel Kandchorov, and District Leader Shimi Pelman. Friends of the Koptievs in attendance also included Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, City Council Candidate Avi Cyperstein, Steve Sinacori, Nick Kandchorov, and Arthur Koptiev, David’s brother.
By Shabsie Saphirstein