Mayer Waxman, 54, Queens Jewish Community Council executive director


Mayer Waxman is the executive director of the Queens Jewish Community Council, which coordinates social services and community advocacy for Jews living throughout the most ethnically diverse area in the United States. Waxman, 54, lives in Jamaica Estates, Queens.

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What are some of the recent highlights in your role?

I take the civic side of my role seriously, having joined Queens Community Board 8 and earning appointment to Borough President Donovan Richards Jr.’s Queens General Assembly.

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Who is your New York Jewish hero?

My uncle, the renowned sociologist Chaim I. Waxman (with love and respect to my aunt Chayah, or “Chaykee,” as well). Initially, as I grew up outside of New York, it was my aunt and uncle’s home that represented New York City to my young mind. When I needed a place to stay away from Yeshiva University on weekends or vacations, the Waxman house in Bayswater was my home away from home. I audited one of his classes in YU’s Azrieli School of Jewish Education and have turned to his works for guidance and ideas.

What’s a fun/surprising fact about you?

I starred in a short lived online Jewish sitcom, “Welcome to Verplank,” and co-conceived and starred in “Extreme Kiruv,” which went viral before the advent of Youtube.

What is your favorite place to eat Jewish food in New York?

Representing Queens, I feel I should say Hapisgah Steak House in Flushing, which attracts people from all over the metropolitan area. But I’m a vegetarian so I favor Cafe Muscat, the dairy spot up Union Turnpike (with a shout-out to Benny’s Kosher Pizza in Fresh Meadows).

What is your favorite book about New York?

I recently read Mel Brooks’ autobiography “All About Me!” which starts out describing pretty lovingly growing up Jewish in Brooklyn in the 1930s.

What are three spots in NYC that all Jewish New Yorkers should visit?

Congregation Shearith Israel, also known as the the Spanish Portuguese Synagogue, is the oldest Jewish congregation in the U.S. Also visit the Lower East Side — find a tour highlighting the history of the bustling Jewish center that it was. And they should visit Washington Heights — see the Yeshiva University campus and the Yekke (German-Jewish) community established there.

Anything else you’d like us and our readers to know about you?

My wife Estee and I have four amazing children.

How can people follow you online?

I started the twitter handle @qjcctweets, and some events and articles are posted on

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