$5 million exhibit on anti-Semitism unveiled at JCM dinner

Plans to build a $5 million exhibit at the Crown Heights Jewish Children’s Museum to combat anti-Semitism were unveiled at the institution’s annual gala dinner on Tuesday. Full Story, Photos, Video

By the COLlive journalist
Photos: Itzik Roytman/COLlive

Friends and supporters joined the 17th Annual Crown Heights Jewish Children‘s Museum Gala Dinner on Tuesday evening, celebrating the positive impact of this historic institution.

The gala evening brought together members of law enforcement, government officials and community leaders in a VIP event honoring the Museum’s contribution to New York, combating hate and anti-Semitism through the education and awareness.

A highlight of the event was the unveiling of plans for the museum’s stunning new state-of-the-art exhibit which is currently being planned.

“Ari’s Exhibit – Sharing Our Past, Shaping Our Future” will be built on the fifth floor of the Museum at an expected cost of $5-6 million. It is designed by the world renowned exhibition company Compugraphics.

The new exhibit will explore anti-Semitism through the ages and its impact on the Jewish people and the world. It is created in memory of Ari Halberstamwho was murdered by a terrorist simply because he was Jewish.

Dinner speakers highlighted the recent terrible acts of violence and hatred that have been perpetrated against the Jewish people and other minorities and commended the Museum for its mission to educate and inspire people of all faiths, colors and origins on Jewish heritage and culture.

Devorah Halberstamco-founder of the Museum and mother of Ari Halberstam, who was assassinated in a terrorist attack in 1994 and for whom the Museum is named, led a moment of silence for the victims of the recent shooting in Buffalo.

“We are shocked by the sheer horror of this,” Halberstam said. “But what is most astonishing is that this attacker was an 18-year-old teenager. A child committing an act of such unimaginable terror.

Halberstam compared him to his beloved son Ari, who was murdered at 16.

“I remember how he gave up what he was doing to help a pedestrian hit by a car on that walk shortly after being certified in first aid and CPR. And how he would give up his own bed for a guest. And especially his very last act of kindness to his ailing rabbi before he was shot on the Brooklyn Bridge,” she said.

Halberstam pointed out that the Museum is the answer to some of the big questions we all have about horrific hate and violence.

“We sit here tonight surrounded by answers. Just below the dreidel is engraved the proverb from the ethics of our fathers: teach a child when he is young so that he does not leave him when he grows old.

“The very mission of this museum is to teach and educate. Because knowledge is power, and this museum was built with answers in every creative space. This museum was built at one time but is timeless, as it is the antidote to hate. Because you have to get to know each other in order to accept and understand each other. You have to open up to embrace and appreciate the other. It takes courage and perseverance to embrace and accept each other,” Halberstam said.

The guest of honor for the evening was the Mayor of New York Eric Adams, who received the Leadership Award. He was presented by the Chancellor David C. Banks – Chancellor of the NYC Department of Education. The award was presented by Serge Hoyda, board member of the Jewish Children’s Museum. The MC of the evening was the entertaining Tony Aielloreporter for CBS NY.

VIDEO: Remarks from Mayor Eric Adams

Other winners included Loretta Preska – Chief Justice, US District Court, who received the Ari Halberstam Memorial Award from former US Attorney General Judge Michael Mukasey, Joseph Sprung and Diane Lempert from Beargivers, which received the Lamplighters Award, and Alana Newhouseeditor-in-chief of Tablet Magazine, who received the Ambassador of Hope Award.

Crown Heights 71st Precinct Inspector Joseph Hayward said the event left a deep impression on him and the way he views hate crimes.

“I thank the entire executive staff of the NYPD for coming here tonight. I know the extremely busy schedules you all have. Your presence at this event speaks volumes about the respect you have for the entire community. Jewish community.

“Devorah is a great leader, with many deserved titles. Devorah fights for this community every day. She has an open door for the precinct commanders because her opinion is valued and valued,” he said.

In attendance: New York City Council members Rita Joseph and Crystal Hudson, Kalman Yaeger and Darlene Mealy, Laurie Cumbo – Commissioner of Cultural Affairs, Michael Driscoll – ADIC for NY FBI, Chris Donoghue – SAC of the FBI Civil Rights Division , Chief Kathleen M O’Reilly – NYPD Patrol Chief, David C. Banks – NYC Department of Education Chancellor, Brendon McGuire – Mayor’s Senior Advisor, Edward Caban – First Deputy Commissioner, Chief Juanita Holmes – Chief of NYPD Training, Inspector Joseph Hayward – NYPD 71 PCT, Inspector Richard S. Taylor – NYPD Community Affairs, Chief Kenneth Corey – NYPD Department Chief, Chief Michael Kemper – NYPD Borough Commander Brooklyn South, Deputy Inspector Andrew Arias – NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force, Chief James Essig – NYPD Chief of Detectives, Deputy Chief Francis A. Giordano – NYPD Crime Control Strategies, Chief Jeffrey Maddrey – NYPD Housing, Jumaane Williams – NYC Public Advocate, Ms. In grid Martin – Chief Advisor to Mayor Eric Adams, Joel Eisdorfer – Senior Advisor to Mayor Eric Adams, Inna Vernikov – NYC Council Member, Chief Judy Harrison – NYPD Borough Commander Brooklyn North, Commissioner Keechant Sewell – NYC Police Department Commissioner New York, Eric Gonzalez – Kings County District Attorney, Rabbi Joseph Potasnik – FDNY Chaplain, New York State Board of Rabbis, Judge Michael Mukasey, Hon. Brad Lander – New York City Comptroller, Hon. Fred Kreizman – Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit Commissioner, Antonio Reynoso – Brooklyn Borough President, Pinnie Hikind – Comptroller’s Office, Jake Adler – Governor’s Office Kathy Hochul, Eli Slavin – Congresswoman Yvette Clarke’s Office , Rabbi Chanina Sperlin of CHJCC, Moshe Indig – Williamsburg.

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