The Agudath Israel Community Services Board recently met for their semi-annual meeting. The reports underscored some of the social challenges brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mrs. Shulamis Gutman, director of the Moriah Senior Center in Washington Heights, spoke about some of the services that they have worked to provide to seniors during the pandemic including a full array of virtual (Zoom) educational/recreational programs; exercise and wellness activities; music and art as well as trips. When funding from the city for meals stopped, Mrs. Gutman personally fundraised to help continue providing Kosher meals to the homebound seniors, with approximately 70 personally delivered to seniors in the neighborhood each day, through the network of volunteers and staff she put together for this purpose. At a time when the seniors can’t get out and participate in the social interaction they usually enjoy at the center each day, these warm meals provide much more than simply nutrition.

Rabbi Yeruchim Silber, director of New York Government Relations, provided an update on the political arena in Albany and City Hall. Among other topics Rabbi Silber spoke about the Democratic Super Majority in the New York State legislature, the 2021 elections for mayor, comptroller, and majority of the City Council, as well as the upcoming special election in Queens and ranked choice voting.

The Board welcomed a new board member, Mr. Albert Blank, a member of the Washington Heights community, and we look forward to working with him. Mr. Blank’s appointment to the board succeeds last years appointments of of Mr. Chaim Aschkenazi, Mrs. Rivka Sender, and Mr. Yisroel Snow.