A long white beard and kipa weren’t the only things distinguishing Jacob Goldstein from other honorary marshals at Monday’s West Indian American Parade.
Rabbi Goldstein says he was just about the only one in the crowd of dignitaries not running for office.
The longtime chairman of Community Board 9 in Crown Heights, where the annual parade is held, had been asked several times over the years to participate in the festival (known for its legion of dancers in sequined, but scant, costumes) but had “respectfully declined,” he says. “I wanted to leave the honor for other people.”
Rabbi Goldstein, who is also an official in the state housing department and chaplain of the state National Guard, donned the sash this year because of the parade’s tribute to the late Carlos Lezama, a Carribean-American leader and chairman of the event who died in January.
During the parade Rabbi Goldstein, above right, pointed out to Gov. Eliot Spitzer, left, and Mayor Michael Bloomberg that the stretch of Eastern Parkway on which they were marching had been rebuilt during the Cuomo administration through $60 million in state and federal funding. He also discussed education with schools Chancellor Joel Klein.
At left, hundreds of police officers used the Jewish Children’s Museum on Eastern Parkway as a staging ground to prepare for the parade.