Late Friday, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14) honored the centennial of the Jewish Center of Jackson Heights with a speech on the House Floor.
The Center was founded as the Queens Independent Society in 1920 when a few Jewish families looked for a safe place to congregate. The Center was first called the Queens Independent Society because the term Jewish was not permitted at that time. The original building itself was based in Woodside, an adjacent neighborhood to Jackson Heights, because Jews were not welcome in Jackson Heights. However, in 1928, the Center was able to rename itself the Jewish Center of Jackson Heights and in the 1950s they officially moved their brick and mortar into Jackson Heights. Today the Center is known in the community as an inclusive and accepting space, hosting a number of diverse community events throughout the year as well as housing the Queens Center for Gay Seniors.