New York Councilman Bruce Blakeman, who represents the south shore of Long Island, spoke to Arutz Sheva at the National Council of Young Israel's annual gala dinner.

“The Young Israels that are in my district are the backbone of the Jewish community in Nassau County on Long Island and they provide not only a place of worship, but they provide other services as well for young people, for the elderly, for those who are less fortunate. They’re an important part of the community,” he said.

“I’m here to celebrate all that they’ve been able to accomplish and we hope they grow,” continued Blakeman.

Blakeman noted that the relationship between the local authorities and the Orthodox Jewish community is very good and added, “I have a very diverse district. We have a lot of Hispanics, we have African-Americans, we’ve got a tremendous amount of Italians and Irish Catholics who live in my district. Everybody gets along very very well. They’re supportive of each other and they understand each other. They understand that it’s okay to be different.”

“We work very closely with the Orthodox community, whether it’s an eruv, or whether it’s extra police protection on the holidays. We work very closely with the community and with our police department to make sure that the Orthodox community gets what they need. We probably have 30 or 40 yeshivas [in the district], so protection of our yeshivas and providing services for our yeshivas are very important. Jewish education is very important in my district,” he added.

Asked about the bigger picture in terms of the United States-Israel relationship, Blakeman said, “I am unbelievably pleased that [President Trump] is moving the embassy to Jerusalem. A lot of presidents have talked about it in the past. He’s actually going to do it. I’m ecstatic about it. We have a relationship with the Shomron in our community and this president isn’t going to throw the people who live on the other side of the Green Line under the bus. I think that he’s a very very strong supporter of Israel and he’s a good friend to the Jewish people.”