The JEA hosts several meetings each year open to all residents of Jamaica Estates.
At many general membership meetings, the JEA makes presentations on topics important to our members such as:
General Membership Meetings
For over twenty years we have celebrated our diversity and history of inclusion by organizing and celebrating an International Night. We have honored the cultures and religions of the Chinese, Indians, Irish, Italians, Filipinos, Albanians, Africans, Bukharians, and Bangladeshies. The residents celebrate, learn, and develop a healthy respect for their fellow neighbors’ rich cultures, foods, and faiths. Also, we learn why they are drawn to Jamaica Estates to live and raise their families.
Leadership Town Hall Meetings
It is the hallmark of the Jamaica Estates Association to maintain an on-going and open relationship with city, state and federal elected officials representing our community. We meet regularly with these officials and they appear at many mini town hall meetings conducted by the JEA, providing our members with a unique forum for direct face- to- face dialogue.
Security In Jamaica Estates Meetings
On December 17, the JEA held its general membership meeting focused on security in Jamaica Estates. In attendance were John Breheny, Director of Public Safety for St. John’s University, Anthony LaBella, Vice-President of Bay Ridge Security, and Captain Tom Molloy of the 107th Precinct. John Breheny spoke about student rentals in the community. Students living in the neighborhood who are found to be disruptive are brought before the SJU Board for discipline. He stressed how helpful it is to have pictures and/or video detailing the complaint, and reminded the crowd that students can’t be disciplined if their behavior isn’t reported. If you have a complaint, you can contact SJU’s Public Safety office at 718-990-5252.
Memorial & Veterans Day
“On Veterans Day, 2017 the Jamaica Estates Association sponsored a memorial service at the Gatehouse on Midland Parkway to honor the veterans from the community who died in service to our country during World War II. In addition to the members of the community, Councilman Rory Lancman, Anthony Lemma from Assemblyman David Weprin’s office, former State Senator Frank Padavan, Community Board 8 Chair Martha Taylor, as well as members of the Board of Directors of the Jamaica Estates Association Board of Directors were in attendance. Carl Ballenas, Chair of the JEA Education committee, and his students from the Aquinas Honor Society of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Academy researched many of the young men whose names are enshrined in the Gatehouse and assembled a collection of newspaper articles and photographs from which they wrote brief biographies of these heroes. At the service, several of the students read from these biographies, poignantly bringing these men to life for those in attendance. There was universal agreement that this was a most fitting way to honor their memory.”
The students of the Aquinas Honor Society at Immaculate Conception Catholic Academy are gifted scholars who must maintain an exceptionally high-grade index and garner exemplary service qualifications for both the school and the community. They have created projects that go beyond the standard educational curriculum for close to 15 years. They have placed historic plaques throughout the neighborhood including a historical plaque about the history of the Jamaica Estates community, erected on the Midland Parkway Malls behind the Gatehouse. They are well known for their research and writing skills and have published three books with Arcadia Publishing. Images of America: Jamaica Estates (2010), Images of America: Jamaica (2011) and Images of America: Kew Gardens (2014). (www.arcadiapublishing.com) Over the years they have received many NYC Proclamations and Citations from various NYC Politicians and have won many admirers.
In was, in the research of the Jamaica Estates book, that they learned a great deal about the Jamaica Estates World War II Memorial. When the students were asked to form an honor guard at the 2017 Veterans Day ceremonies they wanted to do more and thought a more fitting tribute would be to read out the names of the ten young servicemen on the memorial plaque. This started them on additional research and they gathered more information about each serviceman named on the memorial and were fortunate to find photographs for six of the ten. They wrote biographies on each and created a display board with articles, obituaries and photographs. The students were very proud to read the names and the biographies of the ten at the 2017 Veterans Day ceremony. They returned for the Memorial Day ceremonies of 2018 and repeated what they had done previously and were able to locate all the Jamaica Estates homes of the ten servicemen. By assisting the community in commemorating both Veterans Day and Memorial Day ceremonies, they have learned a valuable lesson about patriotism and the respect and admiration to be given to those who have served in protecting the freedoms of our country.
The Jamaica Estates Association inaugurated a student initiative award and honored the work of select graduating students form local schools with the JEA Graduate Recognition Award. The award was given to a graduating student from each participating school. The topic for the 2017 essay was related to the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in New York State. The winners were given a cash award and a certificate from the JAE. Members of the JEA Board attended their graduation ceremonies to personally given them their awards. Congratulations to the winners and all who participated in the contest! The topic for the 2018 Essay Contest will refer to the 100th Anniversary, marking the end of World War I.
The idea for this annual award was created in 2017. Carl Ballenas the Chairman of the Education Committee came up with the idea and was assisted by Naomi Bookbinder. Eight Grade graduates who are about to enter High School are eligible to participate in this essay contest. Each year a topic of historical merit is considered, and the guidelines are sent to the schools. It is the schools who select a winner and that essay is sent to the JEA. The winning entry from each school receives a cash award and a certificate. Our graduate essay contest is unique due to the presentation of the award to the graduate at their graduation ceremony by a board member of the JEA. The Jamaica Estates Graduate Award is a wonderful opportunity for the organization to help recognize the talented youth in our community.
Jamaica Estates Association Art Show