Brooklyn’s Diversified Communities Unite to Help Victims of Maria’s Wrath in Puerto Rico

In an unprecedented display of unity, The Bridge Multi-Cultural Project,  1894 Flatbush Avenue, sponsored an emergency relief drive to assist the beleaguered victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands on Sunday, October 1, 2017.  Over 200 people donated an abundance of food, clothing, shoes, non-perishable items, first aid kits, medical supplies, feminine hygiene products and much more during the five-hour donation drive.

The Bridge MCP emergency drive was given an imprimatur by City Public Advocate Letitia James, Comptroller Scott M. Stringer, NYS Assembly members Helene E. Weinstein & Rodneyse Bichotte as well as City Council members Jumaane D. Williams & Matthieu Eugene.

Diversity on display as the Flatbush community pitched in to lend a hand to Hurricane Maria victims in Puerto Rico. Photo by MIchael Wright

Co-sponsors of the drive reflected the true diversity that illuminates the neighborhoods in Brooklyn’s Flatbush district. Such prominent religious organizations as the Rabbinical Council of America (RAA) – the Igud HaRabbonim, the Interfaith Dialogue Project, the Haitian American Caucus, the Yemeni American Association, the American Council of Minority Women, the New York Rescue & Response Team were among those groups that lent their sponsorship to the hurricane drive.

In a voice reverberating with palpable emotion, Mark Meyer Appel, the founder and CEO of The Bridge Multi-Cultural project introduced the co-chairs of the emergency hurricane drive; Brooklyn district leader Josue Pierre and Rabbi Mendy Mirocznik. 

Rabbi Mendy Mirocznik, the executive vice chairman of the Rabbinical Alliance of America/Igud HaRabbonim – an organization with well over 800 member rabbis representing communities all across the United States and Canada addressed the gathering. “The mission of all of us in our respective communities are to support each other in times of crisis. I am so proud that our community has unified and is working hard to support those victims whowere adversely affected by this terrible tragedy,” declared Rabbi Mirocznik.

Assemblymember Helene Weinstein, third from left, was among the many Flatbush lawmakers pitching in to help prepare care packages for the victims of Hurricane Maria. Contributed photo. Photo by MIchael Wright

Joining Rabbi Mirocznik was Rabbi Yaakov Klass, and other members of the presidium of Rabbinical Alliance of America.

Speaking from a vantage point of his impressive experience as a community leader, Pierre told the assemblage how Brooklynites from all walks of life, always band together and unify in  times of desperate need.

“Today, we join our Muslim, Jewish and Christian brothers and sisters in showing our love and deep concern for all those adversely affected by Maria’s unforgiving wrath by providing them with everything they will need to survive,” said Pierre. 

Mr. Abu Khaliquzzaman, an esteemed and highly respected leader of Brooklyn’s Muslim community, is the founder of the Interfaith Dialogue Project events.

The humanitarian effort at The Bridge. Photo by MIcahel Wright

Mr. Khaliquzzaman focused his remarks on the treasured legacy of Brooklynites always “stepping up to the plate” and showing compassion for the needy. “

Mr. Mark Appel offered plaudits to the remarkable work done through the partnership with the  New York Rescue and Response Team to save lives in the aftermath of the string of hurricanes that wrought disaster to Florida and the Caribbean.

Mr. Appel was quite generous with his words of high praise for Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York City’s elected officials. He particularly took note of the fact with their rapid response to the devastation of these hurricanes 

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