Eighth grade students of the Jewish Foundation School with Rev. Terry Troia and Mendy Mirocznik
Lawrence Desilva, Rev. Terry Troia, Mendy Mirocznik, Chaplain Imam Dr. Tahir Kukaj, and Coordinating Officer Leonardo Tanjutco

On January 7, in the Meiers Corner section of Staten Island, the Staten Island Council of Jewish Organizations (COJO) together with Project Hospitality in light of certain flier incidents gathered together a diverse crowd of Staten Island residents who banded together with a goal of engaging in a day of righteous action of providing substance to fellow Staten Islanders in need.

“Hate and bigotry can only be defeated when good people come together and demonstrate that as members of the human race, we demand that all people be treated equally with respect and dignity,” commented Mendy Mirocznik, president of COJO-SI. Mirocznik further thanked Rev. Terry Troia, the highly respected president of Project Hospitality for “once again answering the clarion call and helping to galvanize the diverse residents of Staten Island to come and to stand together in acts of righteousness and kindness. To correct the evil of hate, we must reaffirm the goodness of people that most people are decent, caring, and considerate people. By reaffirming who we are, we are able to gather the fortitude to face adversity with courage and that strength gives us the resilience to overcome the challenges of hate.”

Mirocznik thanked the NYPD for “partnering up and participating in the day of righteous action and helping with the traffic flow as well as with distributing food packages. It is important that the world sees that behind every badge there is a caring, kind, and compassionate human being who is a police officer. Part of public safety in this fragile and fragmented world is building public trust and confidence, especially when law enforcement faces at times a cold environment. Chaplain Imam Dr. Tahir Kukaj, Coordinating Officers Lawrence Desilva and Leonardo Tanjutco, Community Affairs Officer John Sibal, and Ari Weiss, chairman of the COJO Security Committee and coordinator of the Staten Island Shomrim, positively demonstrate the positive human side and the care and concern of law enforcement. I know that these fine examples of law enforcement are demonstrative of the NYPD and represent what the NYPD is all about. Caring people who make New York safe.” It was gratifying to say how volunteers such as Sarah and Zvi Spiler, Carol Ann Rebori, Iva Reuven, President PTA of the Jewish Foundation School, together with the eighth grade class of the school under the careful eye of their teacher Mrs. Rapps interfaced with the NYPD and the diverse crowd in harmony, unity, and love.

Mirocznik concluded by thanking David G. Greenfield, CEO and executive director of Met Council; Aaron Cyperstein, associate council and director of external affairs of Met Council; Jessica Chait, managing director of food programs at Met Council; and Benjamin Zaientz, quality specialist at Met Council, for their support, encouragement, and generosity and for their collaboration with COJO and Project Hospitality in making this important Day of Action Against Racism and Anti-Semitism a reality.

Scott Maurer, CEO and executive vice-president of COJO and co-chair of District Attorney Michael McMahon’s Hate Crimes Task Force, stated, “This Day of Action Against Racism and Anti-Semitism is just one of the fine programs that we have been working on in combating hate. We will continue to work with Project Hospitality, NYPD, and other great community partners in the coming weeks to continue the momentum that hate has no place in Staten Island. I am optimistic with this Day of Action as being a good way to begin the 2021 with a healthy perspective in making this world a better place for all people.”

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