Nysha Recent News

Hamaspik Tapped by BPJCC to Provide Accessibility Transport Vans to Community

January 18, 2016

By Mendy Hecht, Hamaspik Gazette


Project Spearheaded by Rep. Jerrold Nadler; Leaders Dedicate Vehicles at Ribbon-cutting Event

The morning of Sunday, January 10, 2016 was marked by another example of Hamaspik’s community leadership.

On that day, the Borough Park Jewish Community Council (BPJCC), several prominent elected officials, and various community leaders joined staff of Hamaspik of Kings County at Hamaspik’s central Borough Park offices to officially inaugurate new accessible vans for usage by the Borough Park community.

Hamaspik of Kings County, under the leadership of Executive Director Joel Freund, has long enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship with the BPJCC, under the capable stewardship of executive director Rabbi Yeruchem Silber.

Brightening up the otherwise rainy day were U.S. Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-10th Dist.), New York City Councilmember Brad Lander (D-39th Dist.) and New York State Sen. Simcha Felder (D-17th Dist.), all longtime friends of Hamaspik and the greater Borough Park community.

Also making good on Hamaspik’s invitation to attend were community leaders Mr. Berry Spitzer, a member of Borough Park’s Community Board 12, Mr. Yehudah Schonfield of New York City Councilmember David Greenfield’s office, Shomrim community patrol captain Mr. Simcha Bernath, and community activist Mr. Berish Freilich.

Symbolizing their joining of forces to collectively help the community, the elected officials and community activists joined together at a bright red line for a ceremonial ribbon cutting.

Together wielding an oversized scissors, Congressman Nadler, BPJCC leader Silber, and Hamaspik’s Freund and Tessler snipped the crimson ribbon strung between the vans parked in front of Hamaspik’s imposing 14th Ave. location.  They then joined the assembled in applause.

Shortly thereafter, the group headed up to the third floor of 4102 14th Ave. for an inaugural breakfast.  Congressman Nadler and Councilmember Lander each expressed appreciation to both organizations for their service to their community, and Rabbi Silber and Mr. Freund shortly reciprocated.

The brand-new, state-of-the-art transportation vans are each equipped with a rear-racing wheelchair lift, plenty of interior space for passengers who use wheelchairs, and removable standard seats to allow for quick reconfiguration of seating arrangements as necessary.

Purchase of the vans was made possible by the BPJCC.  With critical advocacy by Cong. Nadler, that non-profit had secured a grant from the federal Dept. of Transportation (DOT).

The grant, in turn, was geared to provide communities with increased local transportation for its members with disabilities.  Having secured the grant, and the resulting funding for accessibility vans, the BPJCC then turned to Hamaspik, a community mainstay in services for people with disabilities, to provide said transportation.

The result?  Vans adorned with the DOT, BPJCC and Hamaspik logos are now busy shuttling about the streets of Borough Park providing local transportation for people with disabilities—and symbolizing the best of the public and non-profit sectors coming together to help the community.