The 11th Annual Legislative Breakfast hosted by Shema Kolainu- Hear Our Voices, school and center for children with autism servicing all boroughs of New York, was held Tuesday, July 9, 2013 at the Renaissance Ballroom in Brooklyn, New York. This year, the breakfast honored members of the City Council as well as State Legislature, for their outstanding work in the autism community. The Friedlander Group coordinated the breakfast, with Masters of Ceremony Menachem Lubinsky and Kalman Yeger.
Autism, as many are aware, is on the rise and awareness, advocacy, and support is crucial. The honorees of the breakfast have gone above and beyond to assist in this mission. Among the attendees were community leaders, philanthropists, and elected officials.
This year’s honorees included: Preston Niblack, City Council Finance Director– City Legislative Leadership Award, Diana Williams, News Anchor WABC-TV’s Eyewitness News at 5:00, Brad Gerstman, Esq.– Autism Awareness Appreciation Award, Chief Thomas M. Chan, New York City Police Department, Chief of Community Affairs– Community Appreciation Award, , Scott Stringer, Manhattan Borough President, and Pesha Elias Bikur Cholim D’Bobov– Hakaras Hatov Award accepted by Rabbi Yitzchok Fleischer. Assemblyman David Weprin presented the National Autism Advocacy Award to Patti S. Lubin, Senior Advisor and Senior Counsel- Office of Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand, and State Senator Daniel Squadron presented the National Autism Advocacy Award to Carolyn Gehl Fefferman, Esq., Senior Advisor- Office of Senator Robert Menendez.
Shema Kolainu- Hear Our Voices also expresses deep appreciation to New York City Council Members David Greenfield, Brad Lander, Melisa Mark-Viverito, and Mark Weprin.
Dr. Joshua Weinstein founded Shema Kolainu- Hear Our Voices, with only three children. Now, hundreds of children are serviced either at the center based school in Brooklyn or home based programs throughout New York. The 11th Annual Legislative Breakfast welcomed a diverse group of attendees, which is appropriate, as autism knows no cultural bounds. The support and advocacy for this population is important, and Shema Kolainu- Hear Our Voices would like to again thank those who are trying to help make a difference.