Assemblyman Michael Simanowitz passes away

NYS Assemblyman Mike Simanowitz of Queens passed away on Saturday, after struggling with an illness for several years.

Arutz Sheva Staff , | updated: 12:57 PM

Assemblyman Michael Simanowitz
Assemblyman Michael Simanowitz
Courtesy of the family

New York State Assemblyman Michael Simanowitz of Queens passed away on Saturday at around 45 years of age, after struggling with an illness for several years.

Simanowitz was known by his community as a powerful voice for the Jewish people.

“I’m still in shock learning this terribly sad news just after Shabbos,” said New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind told Yeshiva World News. “Michael was a friend and an outstanding colleague; a proud Jew who loved his family, loved his community, and loved the Jewish people. He was as good as G-d makes people, a star, a real mensch. I will miss him very much. May his family be comforted with the other mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.”

Chaskel Bennett, a member of Agudath Israel Board of Trustees told Yeshiva World News that he and Simanowitz were childhood friends, having attended Yeshiva Tiferes Moshe in Queens together as elementary school students.

“Michael was always a protector”, Bennett said. “‎He just had a natural instinct to protect the most vulnerable among us. His passing creates a void that will be extremely difficult to fill.‎ His voice, his tenacity and his willingness to stand up on behalf of our community and yeshiva children will be extraordinarily hard to replace. I am heartbroken.”

US Rep. Grace Meng (D-Queens) today issued the following statement about Simanowitz. Meng's Congressional district encompasses most of Simanowitz's Assembly district .

"I am shocked and devastated over the sudden passing of Assemblyman Mike Simanowitz who was taken from us at such a young age.

“Mike was a dedicated public servant who worked tirelessly to improve his community, both as an elected official and as a staff member to his predecessor. He was also a constituent and a great friend.

“But more importantly, Mike was a wonderful human being. He had a heart of gold and was among the warmest, friendliest and most down-to-earth individuals I have known.

“His passing is a terrible loss for me personally as well as for our borough, city and state. I will miss him enormously.

“But his service and advocacy will never be forgotten, and I will always cherish the times we spent together.

“At this difficult time, I send my deepest condolences to Mike's wife and children, his parents, and all of his friends, colleagues and constituents. I ask all New Yorkers to keep Mike’s family in their thoughts and prayers."

Michael's parents are among the leading supporters of community-building in Judea and Samaria.

"Michael was a rising leader, among those Jewish leaders trusted both in Israel and in the US. Greatness has been lost to the Jewish people, the land of Israel, and the Torah of Israel," said Yaakov "Ketzaleh" Katz, Executive Director of the Arutz Sheva group.