Summer 2010

Unclaimed Funds Reclaimed

Assemblyman Hikind hosted a “Claim Your Unclaimed Funds” event at his district office in conjunction with the Office of the New York State Comptroller. Personnel from Comptroller DiNapoli’s office were on hand to assist constituents in searching the Unclaimed Funds database and to help them file claims. The overwhelming turnout prompted the Assemblyman to extend the event to the next day as well to accommodate the record crowd of over 300.

“Within the 48th Assembly district, the total amount of unclaimed funds currently being held is close to $70 million”
-Assemblyman Hikind

By law, banks, insurance or investment companies, utilities and other businesses are required to surrender inactive accounts to the State, which then becomes the custodian of any abandoned funds until the monies are claimed.

Of the more than 700 searches conducted, 200 claim forms were filed. One fortunate attendee was shocked to learn that the State was holding 13 accounts in his name. Another was found to have $10,000 waiting to be claimed.

“Within the 48th Assembly district, the total amount of unclaimed funds currently being held is close to $70 million,” Assemblyman Hikind said. “It was gratifying for me to help facilitate the return of a small portion of that to the rightful owners.”

Assemblyman Hikind’s office is available at any time to assist constituents interested in inquiring if there are any unclaimed funds in their name.

Mitch Partnow, Regional Representative for Intergovernmental & Community Affairs for the NYS Comptroller’s office, with the Assemblyman and searching for constituents’ funds.

Helping those who help others
Assemblyman Hikind takes great satisfaction in advocating and obtaining funding for a number of local organizations and grass-roots groups that provide valuable and essential services to our community, often on a volunteer basis. “The scope of assistance offered is very impressive, ranging from food packages, food pantries and free soup kitchens to support groups for emotional issues, to financial aid and comfort to hospital patients and their families,” the Assemblyman said. “It makes me extremely proud to be part of a community that is second to none when it comes to acts of kindness and compassion.”

Some of the groups that the Assemblyman has assisted include:

A T.I.M.E. – offers advocacy, education, guidance, research and support to Jewish infertile couples in a culturally sensitive manner.

M.A.S.K. – provides support for parents of children in conflict through a confidential hotline, parent support groups, school liaison, private consultation and referrals.

CHESED SHEL EMES – takes care of the needs of any deceased member of the Jewish community, regardless of affiliation, from the time of expiration through burial and unveiling of tombstone.

REFUAH RESOURCES – refers patients to medical professionals best suited to treat them to ensure that they are correctly diagnosed and receive the right treatment, giving them the best chance for a successful outcome.

BORO PARK JCC – provides critically needed quality social services to the most needy in our community, including Medicaid and Food Stamp applications, crisis intervention funds, food vouchers and food packages, employment, housing programs and government entitlements.

BONEI OLAM - has developed a dedicated network of doctors and fertility centers across the world, offering financial and emotional assistance for all aspects of fertility treatments.

CHAI LIFELINE – addresses the full spectrum of needs of children and their families who are suffering from illness and trauma, encompassing logistical, social, financial, and recreational issues. Their motto is ‘fighting illness with love.”

MASBIA – operates a communal soup kitchen which daily serves freshly cooked, warm and hearty meals to anyone in need in a dignified, restaurant-like atmosphere.

SHEMA KOLAINU – offers a broad spectrum of educational and therapy programs to children with autism spectrum disorder and related disabilities in a warm and nurturing environment.

BIKUR CHOLIM OF BORO PARK – performs a wide range of activities to provide comfort and support to people who are ill, homebound, isolated or otherwise in distress, including financial aid, referrals, family crisis intervention and social services.

HASC – provides an extensive network of supportive services to individuals with special needs, from infancy through adulthood, including early intervention, preschool and school-age programs, and an award-winning summer camp.

P’TACH – assists parents in providing Jewish secondary education for children with learning disabilities through profiles, services, applications and publications.

MEKIMI – enriches the lives of children and young adults suffering from serious and long-term illness by spreading hope and joy through live entertainment, a DVD library, outings, barbecues, boat cruises, carnivals, and an annual family weekend retreat.

SPARKS – offers comprehensive services to meet the needs of women suffering from postpartum depression, including educational classes, support groups, low-cost psychiatric care and medication, sliding scale psychotherapy, in-home support and a supervised respite residence for women and their babies.

YAD EPHRAIM – helps to ease the burden of hospital patients and their relatives by providing them with hot, appetizing Sabbath and holiday meals and seeing to their other needs, bringing warmth, sustenance and renewed strength to exhausted families.

TOMCHEI SHABBOS – prepares and delivers thousands of food packages on a weekly basis to needy families throughout the community.

NACHAS HEALTHNET – administers social services and health insurance plans to low-income families and children, as well as life-saving medical screenings for seniors and a range of support services for Holocaust survivors.

PESHA ELIAS BIKUR CHOLIM D’BOBOV – is dedicated to meeting the needs of the ill and infirm, addressing housing, health care and daily living requirements of needy individuals.

BORO PARK SHOMRIM & FLATBUSH SHOMRIM – operate volunteer civilian patrols that work closely with the police to combat crime and help keep our communities safe.

arrow Attending the opening of HASC Center’s new respite home, with Abe Eisner (r.), board member.

arrowAccepting an award at the Bonei Olam dinner.

arrow With Rabbi Shmuel Steinharter (l.), executive director, and Bikur Cholim members.
arrow Assemblyman Hikind speaking at a Mekimi melave malke, where he praised the outstanding efforts of the group, in particular its founder, Shimshie Heszkel.
arrow Assemblyman Hikind meets with Shaul Rosen (center), executive director of A T.I.M.E., and a board member.
Pitching in to help Yad Ephraim volunteers prepare meals to be distributed in hospitals. arrow

arrow Speaking to the crowd at a Nachas Healthnet luncheon for Holocaust survivors.
arrow Helping Mendy Rosenberg (l.) and Chesed Shel Emes volunteers prepare a grave for a destitute man.

Justice Delayed

Ms. Lati thanks the Assemblyman for his effort on her behalf.
Assemblyman Hikind has called for an official inquiry into the botched arrest and prosecution of Ms. Chila Lati, a 39 year old mother of four, for allegedly running over the foot of a traffic agent while trying to avoid a traffic summons.

Ms. Lati’s nightmare began when NYPD detectives from the 61st precinct came to her door and informed her she was being taken into custody for the incident that had occurred several weeks earlier. She insisted to them that they had the wrong person, and that there were several other individuals residing in Brooklyn by the same name. Moreover, she was able to provide proof that she was at another location at the time of the incident, and her car did not match the description of the vehicle involved. Her protests fell on deaf ears. She was charged with assault, reckless endangerment, obstructing governmental administration, menacing and harassment.

She was interrogated, fingerprinted, body searched, stripped of her personal effects and placed in a line-up and holding cell. She was facing one year in jail, with three years of post-jail probation. In the meantime, she was released on her own recognizance pending an upcoming trial.

Upon learning of this outrageous situation, Assemblyman Hikind contacted Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes, urging him to review the compelling evidence Ms. Lati’s attorney had amassed, which pointed unambiguously to her innocence.

When the District Attorney’s office ultimately did drop the charges, Assemblyman Hikind commented, “Although a grave miscarriage of justice has been avoided, the events of the past several months surrounding this case are a stark reminder of what can occur when flagrant errors in our justice system go unchallenged.”

Presumed Consent Withdrawn

Assemblyman Richard Brodsky in Assemblyman Hikind’s Albany office addressing the groups who came to lobby against presumed consent.
As a result of successful lobbying efforts, Assemblyman Hikind is pleased to announce that the Presumed Consent legislation has been withdrawn. Under the proposed bill, introduced by Assemblyman Richard Brodsky, New York would have become the first state to presume that people are willing to donate their organs after their death unless they specifically opt out. Presently, prospective donors must check a box on their driver’s license in the presence of two witnesses or fill out a donor card.

The Assemblyman, along with community leaders and activists, met with Assemblyman Brodsky to outline their concerns and objections. Assemblyman Brodsky was extremely sensitive to the religious and ethical concerns presented to him by the delegation. His eventual determination not to pursue the bill was a result of this meaningful dialogue.

Earlier last month, when Assemblyman Hikind had launched a campaign to prevent the bill from moving forward in Albany, he was joined by the Catholic League, the Rabbinical Alliance of America, the National Council of Young Israel and Agudath Israel of America.

“There was no doubt in my mind that if this bill had become law, we would have ended up fighting protracted legal battles to prevent illegal organ harvesting,” the Assemblyman remarked. “I felt this legislation was tantamount to entrapment.”

Historic Event

A contingent of local community leaders and activists traveled to Albany to express their support and appreciation to Governor Paterson and other legislative leaders for including vital initiatives in the State budget which directly impact our community, such as reimbursement for mandated services to yeshivas and, most importantly, making TAP (Tuition Assistance Program) funds available to rabbinical colleges.

Assemblyman Dov Hikind

DISTRICT OFFICE: 1310 48th Street • Brooklyn, New York 11219 • 718-853-9616 • Fax: 718-436-5734
ALBANY OFFICE: ROOM 551 LOB • Albany, New York 12248 • 518-455-5721 • Fax: 518-455-5948