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Maimonides marks Lunar New Year with festive celebration

Maimonides Medical Center (MMC), 4802 10th Avenue, celebrated the Year of the Pig as its annual Lunar New Year Celebration was held on Weds., Feb. 13.

The event, held in the Schreiber Auditorium in the Eisenstadt Administration Building, featured a variety of cultural performances, such as the Lion Dance and Qipao Fan Dance, performed by students from New Utrecht High School and P.S. 105, the Oriental Pearl Art Troupe, and the USA Liyuan Qipao Association.

“I’m excited to represent a kosher hospital celebrating the Year of the Pig,” said President and CEO of MMC Kenneth Gibbs. “In all seriousness, the kosher law speaks very deeply to values that guide the Jewish people and the Chinese New Year is deeply rooted in tradition that goes back earlier than the Old Testament.”

It’s a tradition that has stood the test of time.

“In 1928, they tried to move the Chinese New Year to January 1, it didn’t work. People were committed to what their tradition was,” he explained. “In the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s, they tried to outlaw celebrations and it didn’t work. Until 2007, New York City outlawed fireworks in the celebrations. It didn’t work. This is something special and deep rooted. And we as an institution very much want to respect that.”

“This is a great service for the Chinese community,” added Doctor George Liu, a member of the board of trustees. “We really appreciate the hard work and what you’ve done for the Chinese.”

Much of the cultural outreach that goes on at MMC is thanks to Executive Vice President of Patient Relations Douglas Jablon, Gibbs noted.

“At all these events at Maimonides, we have to thank Douglas Jablon for shaping our character and recognizing the need to reach out to communities, all of them, and make it happen,” he said.

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