New York – NYS Senator Eric Adams, Assemblyman David Weprin joined by religious leaders in the Jewish and Muslim communities, held a press conference earlier today in New York City at the Office of the New York Medical Examiner to urge Albany to reinstate funding to the Office of the Medical Examiner. Access to the Medical Examiner is of the utmost importance to those who follow the Jewish and Muslim faiths, as burials must occur within 24 hours of an individual’s passing. Current budget proposals are calling for a substantial decrease in staff and resources. Without the available staff, the ability to uphold religious tenets would become difficult, and service would be impacted not just for those religious communities, but for all New Yorkers.
Rabbi Mendy Rosenberg founder of Chesed Shel Emes, and Rabbi Yanky Meyer founder of Misaskim, two of the most prominent organizations in the state of New York helping Jewish families in time of bereavement and grief where present at the conference to show their support and disappointment.
Senator Adams stated: “It is troubling to me that Albany would play politics with the religious practices of others. While I understand all too well the fiscal issues that New York State is currently facing, it is abhorrent to balance the budget on the backs of those who rely on the Medical Examiner during vulnerable periods, such as the passing on of loved ones.”
I am surrounded today with most respected leaders of the Jewish and the Muslim faith. they are extremely concerned over the future handling of the Medical examiners office, in time that requires by their religion, If the budget cuts by the Governor will take place. We cant allow the religious community to suffer. Said State Senator Eric Adams, and Assemblymen David Weprin.
Zvi Gluck Director of Government Relations for Chesed Shel Emes told VIN News:
From a safety perspective, there will be a delay in getting results from the crime lab, which will cause a major hold up in bringing criminals to justice.
Also, in NYC the law is that until a decadent (dead body) is removed from a home, a police officer must stay there, so now the city will have 2 big problems, 1 is that police will be busy watching decedents, and not keeping the community safe, and they will getting a tremendous amount of overtime while waiting for the Medical Examiner Transport team to respond, which will be very delayed because of there budget cuts.
Keep in mind that the medical examiners office already lost 6 million dollars last year, and there is already a slow down in response, and it is only because the Chief medical examiner, Dr. Hirsch, and his staff understand the needs of the community, that they are still effectively doing their job, so that the community can be properly served. If this proposed cut goes into effect, the results will be unbearable, and people will have to wait days in order to get buried.
Rabbi Yanky Meyer of Misaskim told VIN News after the news conference.
“Misaskim is deeply concerned about the proposed budget cuts to the Medical Examiner’s Office throughout the New York area. These budget cuts will severely impede the services offered by the medical examiners’ offices in Manhattan and the surrounding boroughs. Thus, when a Jewish or Muslim family faces the loss of a loved one the medical examiner will not have the necessary resources to enable families to bury their loved in an timely and dignified manner as mandated according to Jewish and Muslim traditions. It is Misaskim’s sincerest hope that the governor takes into consideration this sensitive issue and the ramifications the budget cuts will have on the Jewish community and all New Yorkers. Misaskim is urging the governor to repeal the budget cuts,”
NY Assemblyman Dov Hikind:
We all know about the importance of the Office of the Medical Examiner and the crucial role it plays, especially in our community,”. “While the reality is that budget cuts threaten many programs and agencies throughout the State of New York, I am hopeful that at the end of the day, the cuts to the Office of the Medical Examiner will be proportionate and will not have a devastating impact on their ability to continue their vital work.”
Councilmen David Greenfield issued the following statement:
“I am very concerned about proposed cuts to the Medical Examiner’s budget. Tomorrow, in a meeting of the City Council’s Health Committee, my colleagues and I will hear testimony from the Chief Medical Examiner about the impact these cuts will have on response times. I plan on using the opportunity to highlight the impact that will have on the religious communities throughout New York. It is my hope that we can balance this city’s budget while also balancing the needs of the living and the dignity of the deceased.”