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We note parenthetically the role of New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver in ensuring that the tragic need for a postponement of the primary elections and subsequent runoffs did not result in any voting on Jewish holidays. That the Democratic primary runoff was scheduled for October 11, a Thursday, rather than Tuesday, October 9, and offering alternate accommodations for those observing Succoth that day, is, in large measure, a tribute to his input as one of the three top decision-makers in Albany.
We note with sorrow the passing of Rabbi Schulem Rubin, an indefatigable champion of the Jewish community. As a prominent pulpit rabbi and trusted counsellor, Rabbi Rubin provided direction to generations. As a confidante of many in high office, he facilitated access to decision-makers at critical times for more than 40 years. And as the longtime Chief of Kosher Law Enforcement of the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, Rabbi Rubin worked ceaselessly to ensure that hundreds of thousands of Jews would not unwittingly run afoul of the Halacha in a fundamental and defining aspect of our faith.