By Brooklyn Reader

April 1, 2015, 5:56 pm

  Click here to view original web page at www.kingscountypolitics.com

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Williamsburg Community leader and CEO of the ParCare Medical Center Gary Schlesinger and Kings County District Attorney Ken Thompson hold a box of Matzah.
Williamsburg Community leader and CEO of the ParCare Medical Center Gary Schlesinger and Kings County District Attorney Ken Thompson hold a box of Matzah.

Kings County District Attorney Ken Thompson may not celebrate the coming Jewish holiday of Passover, but if his day job doesn’t work out he may be able to find work as a matzah baker.

That after Thompson recently visited a Satmar Shmura Matzah bakery to see how the unleavened bread was made. He came at the invitation of Gary Schlesinger, a Williamsburg Community Leader and CEO of the ParCare Medical Center.

“I invited him (Thompson) to see what’s going on in the neighborhood,” said Schlesinger, who added Thompson was also on hand to distribute thousands of pound of Passover food at the Brooklyn Navy Yard to needy Jews.

The eight-day Passover holiday celebrates God’s liberation and freedom from slavery of the ancient Hebrews in Egypt and the beginning of their sojourn to the Promised Land of Israel.  As Moses, the Hebrew who led them out of Egypt, was concerned that the Pharaoh would change his mind in letting the forebearer of the Jewish people leave, he instructed the people to not even wait until the flour has risen to bake bread. Thus, on the holiday most Jews eat unleavened bread or matzah for the entire holiday.

“The Satmar Shmura Matzah bakers adhere to preserving centuries of Eastern European tradition of baking matzah,” Schlesinger said. “It takes 18 minutes from beginning to end to finishing baking the matzah.”

Schlesinger said he reached out to Thompson to give him a greater “cultural sensitivity” to orthodox Jews.

“For example, if a religious Jew gets arrested this Passover for a petty crime like not having car insurance on Friday, he should know the importance of getting the paperwork done quickly so he can get out before sundown when the Sabbath/Passover begins or he will have to spend all of Friday night and Saturday night and Sunday in jail, and miss the important Passover Sedars with his family,” he said.

“We sat down and discussed our needs and he was very understanding,” said Schlesinger, adding it’s important that Thompson understands the needs of every community and the various cultures that make up Brooklyn’s great mosaic.

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