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Black Tie International:
Shema Kolainu 20th Anniversary
NYS Senator Simcha Felder, Ezra Friedlander, NYS Assemblymember David Weprin, NYS Senator Michael Gianaris, Bronx Borough President, Ruben Diaz Jr., Menachem, Lubinsky, NYC Councilmember Kalman Yeger, Dr. Joshua Weinstein, former NYS  Governor David A. Paterson, Peter Rebenwurzel, NYS Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul, NYC ,Public Advocate Letitia James, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz,Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams Photo By: Shmuel Lenchevsky
NYS Senator Simcha Felder, Ezra Friedlander, NYS Assemblymember David Weprin,
 NYS Senator Michael Gianaris, Bronx Borough President, Ruben Diaz Jr., Menachem Lubinsky, NYC Councilmember Kalman Yeger, Dr. Joshua Weinstein, former NYS Governor David A. Paterson, Peter Rebenwurzel, NYS Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul, NYC Public Advocate Letitia James, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz,
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams
Photo By: Shmuel Lenchevsky
Shema Kolainu celebrates 20th Anniversary at Annual Legislative Breakfast
by The Friedlander Group
This year as Shema Kolainu-Hear Our Voices is celebrating its 20th anniversary, it hosted its annual legislative breakfast featured prominent community and lay leaders and a wide array of elected officials.
Shema Kolainu – Hear Our Voices was founded in 1998 by  Dr. Joshua Weinstein , in response to the growing need in the New York metropolitan area’s education system for programs that effectively fill the learning and emotional requirements of children with autism.
Dr. Joshua Weinstein declared "We have come a long way to becoming a model school and are honored to have so many wonderful years filled with growth and gratitude."
The legislative breakfast was once again emceed by Councilmember Kalman Yeger  and  Menachem Lubinsky , coordinated by  The Friedlander Group  and sponsored by  ALMA Bank  and  The Williamsburg Hotel  where the breakfast was held.
As MC Menachem Lubinsky proclaimed "Could you imagine that, 20 years are passed since a revolutionary, by the name of Joshua Weinstein said" [who announced] "We need to take autism out of the closet we need to treat autism, not as a forgotten disease, but as a challenge that we can deal with, that we must deal with, we can change lives, we can change the lives of people, we can change the lives of families, we can change the lives of communities."
NYC Public Advocate  Letitia James  focused on the importance of understanding children with autism and " ... it's incumbent upon all of us to reach out to those children and to find their voice and to hear their voice, and that's why we are here today with this wonderful organization to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of Shema Kolainu." She thanked Dr. Weinstein for 20 years of unwavering dedication and for spearheading a diverse and inclusive artistic education program.
Queens Boro President  Melinda Katz  proclaimed that "We need organizations like Shema Kolainu who say to the community, these are our kids, these are kids that will make a difference one day."
Former NYS Governor  David Paterson  commended "All of you who have cleaved together over this period of time, help young people and to get people to understand the difference between autism as is perceived and as it really is."
NYS Senator  Michael Gianaris  was presented with the Appreciation Award; a picture painted by the students of Shema Kolainu - Hear Our Voices. He urged to create job training and services for adults who are on the spectrum to help them become productive members of society.
Vice President of Shema Kolainu, P eter Rebenwurzel , presented Brooklyn Borough President  Eric Adams  with the Appreciation Award and expressed Shema Kolainu's gratefulness for his support to the school and center. The Borough President also emphasized "overseeing the well-being of the children” and underlined the importance of caring for individuals with autism as they age.
NYS Lieutenant Governor  Kathy Hochul  was presented the State Leadership Award " a gift that I treasure for the rest of my life because it represents the manifestation of love from our G-D through the actions of the people at Shema Kolainu."
Co-emcee Councilmember  Kalman Yeger  recognized participating elected officials including NYS Senator  Simcha Felder , NYS Senator Marisol Alcantara , NYS Assemblymember  David Weprin , who was acknowledged along with his brother,  Mark Weprin , both of whom were instrumental in funding the NYC Council Autism Initiative. Brooklyn DA  Eric Gonzalez  also address the crowd. Proclamations were presented by the office Mayor de Blasio, and NYC Comptroller Stringer.
Councilman Yeger saluted Bronx Borough President  Ruben Diaz Jr.  and Shema Kolainu as an incredible organization that has no borders. “… we have 500 children in the Bronx and [Bronx Borough President Rubén Díaz Jr.] helped us create that." calling him a fierce advocate of the children of Shema Kolainu. 
In his closing remarks, Dr. Weinstein thanked the staff of Shema Kolainu, as he shared “Our children continue to amaze us every day, accomplishing more and inspiring us all. These “small miracles” as we call them, are major blessings. These achievements could not be possible without the dedication and support of our outstanding teaching staff. Thank you for your continued support as we work together to stand behind our blessed children as they make new strides along their journey. We look forward to the next twenty years of making a difference in the lives of our children.”


Gerard Mc Keon and Joyce Brooks.  Photo by:  Rose Billings/

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