On a Wednesday evening in June, I experienced the world quite differently, as I joined SINAI@YCQ students at their art show and saw life through their very own eyes. Each and every masterpiece showcased their unique individuality and intellect at the exhibit detailing the students’ very own handmade creations. I had previously written on SINAI’s cutting-edge special education work locally; however, this was my first opportunity to see the fruits of their labor.

Last Wednesday, May 31, I was privileged to attend Mayor Eric Adams’ Gracie Mansion reception celebrating Jewish Heritage Month. As I walked into the spacious courtyard, exchanging pleasantries with Rav Chaim Dovid Zwiebel, executive vice president of Agudath Israel of America, I was pleasantly surprised at the sea of yarmulkes and sheitels I saw. I had expected every walk of Jewish life to attend this program but was moved to see the impact of New York’s Orthodox Jewish community in full display. It was truly a room of friends that greeted the Mayor and his esteemed staff. I would be remiss if I did not note the impact of three such members: Menashe Shapiro (the Mayor’s deputy chief of staff), Joel Eisdorfer (the Mayor’s senior advisor), and NYPD Inspector Richie Taylor (Commanding Officer of the Department’s Community Affairs Unit), who was flanked by tens of police and fire officers, both Jewish and non-Jewish friends of our communities.

The Kew Gardens community once again continued its tradition of hosting a Legal Holiday Yarchei Kallah shiur. Following Shacharis this past Memorial Day at Kew Gardens Synagogue Adath Yeshurun, Rabbi Aryeh Sokoloff, Rabbi Emeritus of the shul, delivered an in-depth analysis of Birkas HaTorah, extending the z’man kabalas haTorah beyond the Yom Tov of Shavuos itself.

Late in the evening on Thursday, June 1, a Queens Borough Safety Patrol-Shmira member noticed swastikas and extremely hurtful wording praising Nazis drawn on a New York City traffic signal box. The New York Police Department's 112th precinct was immediately informed, and a swift response included an onsite visit from their Executive Officer.

The Israel Heritage Foundation (IHF) held their Yom Yerushalyim celebratory dinner this past Monday evening in New York City. An elite group of guests heard of a new vision for Eretz Yisrael under the leadership of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from a number of speakers, headlined by powerful addresses from Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan, Minister of Heritage Amichai Eliyahu (Otzma Yehudit), and Minister of Information Galit Distel-Atbaryan (Likud).