On Thursday, the Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Council (OJPAC) successfully hosted its annual policy conference and appreciation event in Westchester, NY.
OJPAC’s purpose is to combat defamation of the Orthodox Jewish community while also championing civil rights and civil freedoms.
The annual gathering is very significant because it gives an opportunity for community leaders, activists, elected officials, and organization supporters to meet and greet for policy discussions and an evening of appreciation.
This year, some of the guests came from Sullivan, Orange, and Rockland counties; Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and Long Island; and Bergen and Ocean, New Jersey.
For 2022, the event was led by OJPAC co-founders Aron Spielman, Mayer Berger, and Yossi Gestetner.
The event also honored people in five categories: the Senior Askan Award, given this year to Rabbi Yeruchim Silber of Agudas Israel, and Rabbi Yakov Menken of the Coalition for Jewish Values. Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein, Rockland County Legislator Aron Wieder, and Askan in the Government AwardShimon Rolnitzky of Kol Mavaser and Der Gluck; Askan in Media.Organizational Askan Award, Rabbi Israel Kahan of Oyzrim, and the Anti-Defamation League. Independent Askan Award winners: Jeff Ballabon and Lee Brewer.
According to reports, the event’s sponsor was Wit Strategies, led by philanthropists Binyomin Weisz of Monsey and Benjamin (Volvi) Silberstein of Kiryas Joel.
OJPAC co-founder and Executive Director Yossi Gestetner are pleased with the outcome of this year’s event.
Gestetner said. “The way Orthodox Jews are reported on and spoken about in the public arena has a direct impact on the number of hate attacks in the streets, discrimination in the private sector, and abuses by governments.”
To be successful in its goal, OJPAC uses a wide range of tools such as data research, studies, reports, op-eds, press releases, videos, social media activity, and paid ads to steer the conversation in a productive manner.