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Shema Kolainu’s Annual Breakfast Honors City And State Officials

Jewish Press coverage on the 11th Annual Legislative Breakfast

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.

Dr. 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 Autism Initiative.

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 York.