On Shabbos Shemini Atzeres as news set in of the horrors in Eretz Yisrael, the New York Police Department wasted no time in arranging plans locally should a need arise. Unprecedented times call for extraordinary measures. At 4 p.m. on Yom Tov, I joined over 70 New York City Jewish community leaders to learn of updates on the situation in Israel and of concerns around New York. Commissioner Caban was delighted to learn that a security plan was in place in every region of the city to hastily get a message out to the community should there be a dire situation during Yom Tov. The security personnel present knew the communities they serve inside and out and would be able to coordinate an appropriate plan if necessary.

Speakers included Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Philip Banks, Chief of Patrol John Chell, Executive Director at the Community Security Initiative Mitch Silber, Public Relations at Chabad Lubavitch R’ Yaacov Behrman who arranged for the group’s youth to visit many communities around the city including Queens, Anti-Defamation League’s NY/NJ Regional Director Scott Richman, Commanding Officer of NYPD Patrol Borough Brooklyn South Assistant Chief Charles McEvoy, among others.

Queens was represented by me and Hatzolah of Queens and Great Neck coordinator, Sruly Lowy, as well as Chevra Hatzalah CEO, Yehiel Kalish, and Achiezer President Boruch Ber Bender. At my invitation, Council Member James Gennaro and the office of Council Member Lynn Schulman participated. The meeting was a resounding success due to the painstaking work of Inspector Richie (Yechiel) Taylor, Commanding Officer, Community Affairs Outreach for the NYPD, the highest ranking frum police officer.