By Andy Katz
The Queens Jewish Community Council (QJCC) celebrated its 50th year of service to the community with a legislative breakfast at Young Israel of Jamaica Estates Sunday.
Dozens of Queens leaders and local luminaries attended the event, which honored former U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley, chair of the Queens County Democratic Committee, and Queens District Attorney Richard Brown, who announced last month that he would not seek re-election to the position he has held since 1991.
Several prominent speakers described Crowley’s steadfast support for the area’s Jewish community and for Israel.
“When I first took office, it was Joe Crowley who took me to one side and told me in confidence that Congressional support for Israel was the Congress’s primary bipartisan function,” said U.S. Rep. Grace Meng. “And he did that without cameras or reporters standing by.”
Israeli Consul-General Dani Dayan credit Crowley for strengthening the relationship between Israel and the United States.
“The alliance between Israel and the American people remains unbreakable,” Dayan said. “Joe Crowley has always shown incredible support for the State of Israel. He has made the alliance between Israel and the United States even stronger than it was before. And I want to be sure and thank him for that.”
QJCC President and Eagle co-publisher Michael Nussbaum praised Crowley’s work uplifting marginalized communities.
“Joe Crowley was always a legislator who spoke up for those who didn’t have a voice,” Nussbaum said before introducing Crowley.
Crowley said that whatever path he pursues, he will work on behalf of Queens residents and the state of Israel.
“There are many new faces now entering the House of Representatives, as well as other areas of government, but the relationship between our government and the State of Israel remains strong,” Crowley said. “I don’t know what the next step in my life will be, but I can assure you all, I’m not going anywhere.”
Local leaders also praised Brown for his contributions to Queens. Brown was unable to attend the event.
“Mr. Brown has always put Queens’ interests above his own,” said New York State Attorney General Letitia James. “He has long exemplified the Jewish belief of Tikkun Olam, or repairing the world, in all that he has done for Queens County, New York City and the state of New York in general.”
Nussbaum also recalled Brown’s years of service to the borough.
“I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Dick Brown for some 52 years,” Nussbaum said. “We’ve worked together, and I know that in his office, amid dozens of photos taken during decades of public service, the one that he prizes the most is of his granddaughter in a West Point uniform.”