Shema Kolainu-Hear Our Voices, a school and center for children with autism servicing all boroughs of New York, was held Tuesday, July 9 at the Renaissance
Ballroom in Brooklyn. This year, the breakfast honored members of the city council as well as state legislature for their work in the autism community. The Friedlander Group coordinated the breakfast, with masters of ceremony Menachem Lubinsky and Kalman Yeger.
This year’s honorees included: Preston Niblack, city council fi nance director, for the City Legislative Leadership Award; Diana Williams, news anchor, WABC-TV’s Eyewitness News at 5:00, and Brad Gerstman, esquire, for the Autism Awareness Appreciation Award; Chief Thomas M. Chan, New York City Police Department, for the Chief of Community Affairs/ Community Appreciation Award; Patti S. Lubin, senior advisor and senior counsel at the office of Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand, for the National Autism Advocacy Award; Carolyn Gehl Fefferman, esquire, senior Advisor at the office of Senator Robert Menendez, for the National Autism Advocacy Award; and Pesha Elias for the Bikur Cholim D’Bobov/Hakaras Hatov Award.
Notable presenters included: Charles E. Meara, chief of Staff to New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn presented to Preston Niblack; Assemblyman David Weprin presented to Patti Lubin; and New York State Senator Daniel Squadron presented to Carolyn Gehl Fefferman. David Lobl, special assistant to Governor Cuomo, delivered greetings on behalf of the governor.
Brad Gerstman gave an emotional speech about his involvement with the autism community and described his visit to Shema Kolainu.
Joshua Weinstein, president and founder of Shema Kolainu, also
expressed his deep appreciation to New York State Senator Simcha Felder
and NYC City Councilmembers David Greenfield, Brad Lander, Melisa
Mark-Viverito, Mark Weprin, and Inez Dickens for their support of the
Weinstein founded the organization with only
three children. Now, hundreds of children are serviced either at the
center-based school in Brooklyn or at home-based programs throughout New