Achiezer staff and volunteers wearing the scrubs and PPE Senator Kaminsky helped procure with grant funding.


Senator Todd Kaminsky and the Empire BlueCross BlueShield Foundation awarded a $5,000 grant to the Achiezer Community Resource Center to support their work helping the Five Towns recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds were used to purchase personal protective equipment for donor plasma and antibody testing blood drive efforts.

“Achiezer is a pillar of the Five Towns, providing a myriad of crisis management and support services to the community,” said Senator Todd Kaminsky. “I was pleased to work in partnership with Empire BlueCross BlueShield to provide this grant to help fight the pandemic in our community. Day in and day out, Achiezer and Rabbi Bender have been on the front lines of the COVID-19, and I am confident these funds will further the organization’s incredible work.”

“Senator Kaminsky has shown us time and again his willingness to be there for the community in anticipating the needs and stepping up and assisting whenever necessary,” said Rabbi Boruch B. Bender, president of Achiezer. “We are truly grateful.”

“Meeting the health needs of the whole person is critical to fulfilling Empire’s mission of materially and measurably improving the health of all New Yorkers,” said Alan Murray, president of Empire BlueCross BlueShield. “That’s why it was important for us to support Achiezer, which provides a comprehensive set of services to meet the varying needs of individuals and families in times of crisis. We’re committed to the communities we serve and working with organizations like Achiezer as we improve the health of all New Yorkers.”

Founded more than a decade ago, Achiezer provides an array of services to the Five Towns community as its premier crisis management organization. From delivering meals to making hospital arrangements to providing financial counseling, Achiezer has been tackling the COVID-19 pandemic head-on, and will use the grant funding secured by Senator Kaminsky in partnership with Empire BlueCross BlueShield to bolster their work for the community at this difficult time.

Reminder to Fill Out Online Form for Special Education Services

Parents of children that are enrolled in non-public schools in New York City are required to fill out a form every year in order to guarantee that their child is eligible to receive special education services at their school. While the Board of Education usually mails out this form, the Coronavirus pandemic has affected this practice, and the form was sent out by email instead of postal mail this year.

However, many parents in New York City, including those in the Orthodox Community, may not have access to email. Other busy parents might overlook or fail to recognize the importance of the e-mail and miss a chance to fill out this important form.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has affected everyone in ways small and large, but it is important to ensure that children will not lose their access to special education services next year. And we do not want children whose parents may not have access to email to be put at a disadvantage. While life might have moved online during this pandemic, not everyone has the same abilities and opportunities to be a part of this new virtual world,” said Councilman Brad Lander.

Click here to ensure that each child enrolled in a non-public school still has access to their special education services including OT, PT, Speech, SEIT, SETTS, please visit to submit the required form of the Board of Education, and to ensure that your child’s special education services are continued. More information can be found on the website of the NYC department of education, at



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