A memorable luncheon for 40 Holocaust survivors and Bukharian elderly was held at Prestige Restaurant in Rego Park. Notable attendees from the Holocaust survivor community included Leo Bikk of Kew Gardens, Maya Gurevich of Rego Park, and Vladimir Epshtein of Richmond Hill. Mr. Epshtein is also a famous refusenik who was previously jailed in the Soviet Union for standing up against the authorities when he was denied permission to emigrate.

Council Member James F. Gennaro spoke of his commitment to addressing food insecurity and his deep compassion for the elderly community in his district. Gennaro was accompanied by Adam Suionov, his District Director. Sean McCabe, Deputy Chief of Staff for State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr., brought warm greetings in his address to the assemblage from Senator Addabbo, who was in Albany working on legislation. McCabe expressed the State Senator’s commitment to our precious seniors and ongoing support of the organization’s activities. Pesach Osina, Community Outreach Officer and Director of Communications and Outreach for Jewish Affairs for New York City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams, brought greetings from both the Speaker and local Council Member Lynn Schulman. Osina spoke of past Project Lead events, where both Adams and Schulman had attended. Unfortunately, the elected officials were tied up at City Hall in budget negotiations.

In all, over 90 Holocaust survivors and frail elderly throughout the Central Queens area receive extensive services from Project Lead. Noted appreciation goes to Speaker Adams and Council Members Linda Lee, Sandra Ung, and of course Gennaro and Schulman, along with Senator Addabbo, for their much-appreciated assistance and for funding the Rego Park luncheon.

By Rabbi Avrohom Hecht, Executive Director, Project Lead