Dear Member of the Queens County Bar Association,
What a wonderful time of year to become Acting President of the Queens County Bar Association. We are currently in the midst of a multitude of celebrations of light and holidays in the most ethnically diverse urban area of the world.
I extend heartfelt congratulations to my predecessor, QCBA’s Immediate Past President Judge Hilary Gingold on her recent induction to serve as Judge of the Civil Court of the City of New York. It is my honor to follow as Judge Gingold’s successor. I thank Judge Gingold for all of her hard work and dedicated service to the Bar Association, and also for facilitating a smooth transition for me to become Acting President. I wish Judge Gingold all the best in her new role and position.
And so now, Dear Members, let us take pause and consider the abundance of festivals of lights and holidays. The demographics of Queens, the second-most populous borough in New York City, are highly diverse. No racial or ethnic group holds a 50% majority in the borough. There is so much to celebrate within all of this diversity. Several weeks ago, on November 7th, Diwali, Deepavali or Dipavali, the Hindu festival of lights was celebrated. One of the most popular festivals of Hinduism, Diwali symbolizes the spiritual “victory of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance.” Light is a metaphor for knowledge and consciousness.
As we approach December, the upcoming celebrations of light and the holidays include Hanukah, Winter Solstice, Christmas and Kwanzaa. Hanukah is a Jewish Holiday that celebrates the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, where the Temple was purified and for eight miraculous days the wicks of the menorah burned, even though there was only sufficient sacred oil for one day’s lighting. The Winter Solstice Festival is a Pagan Festival that celebrates when the dark half of the year turns over to the light half of the year. Christmas is a Christian holiday celebrating the birth of a baby boy who brought light into the darkness of the earth, bringing peace on earth; God’s gift of good will to all. Kwanzaa is a secular festival observed by many African Americans from December 26 to January 1 as a celebration of cultural heritage and traditional values, and is celebrated with a candle-lighting ceremony each evening for seven evenings.
Let us remember in our work as members of the Bar, in our work as attorneys and judges, that no matter how challenging our work becomes, that there will always be light, and that justice will prevail. I encourage you all to use the Bar Association as resource, and I welcome any suggestions and ideas that would help better serve the membership. It is my Honor to serve as Acting President of the Queens County Bar Association.