Several Haitian and Jewish dignitaries along with Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein and noted attorney Sanford Rubenstein came to Flatbush last week as Haitian General Consul General Peter Helder Bernard came to the Bridge Multicultural Center, 1894 Flatbush Avenue.
Bernard speaking in both English and Haitian Creole, spoke about the Haitian Diaspora, and the role of Haitians in America. They’re roughly 1 million Haitian-Americans in the United states with about 90,000 in Brooklyn, with the largest amount concentrated in Flatbush, Crown Heights, East Flatbush and Canarsie.
Additionally,Jean Baptiste Point du Sable, an immigrant from Saint-Domingue (present-day Haiti), founded the first nonindigenous settlement in what is now Chicago, Illinois, the nation’s third largest city.
In his opening remarks, Bridge Founder Mark Meyer Appel, who is also a member of the World Jewish Congress, also noted the strong ties between Jews and the Haiti. He also praised Haiti as the only government during World War II that rescued and opened up their border to 300 Jewish families that escaped the Holocaust.
Chabad-Lubavitch Rabbi Yaacov Behrman also spoke how both the Jewish Chabad community from Brooklyn, and the country of Israel assisted and aided those affected by the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.