Every Yom Tov, Jews around the world converge with their families to celebrate in a festive environment. The December/January holiday season is often similar for the non-Jewish world. The innate character of a Jewish soul is to be giving and appreciative of those in our midst. In this light, various community organizations rose to acknowledge the hard work of law enforcement. This past Wednesday, December 22, the Queens Jewish Alliance organized a dinner delivery to the hardworking and devoted police officers of the 107th police precinct broadly servicing Kew Gardens Hills and surrounding neighborhoods. The notion for this opportunity was presented by Meshulam Lisker, a QJA member, and the group was quick to arrange the initiative. To show support to a local pizzeria, Naomi’s Pizza was chosen for the order. At the presentation to the officers, QJA chairperson Sorolle Idels expressed, “We are grateful to you for always being there to keep our communities safe and protected. We came over as representatives of our communities to say thank you and to wish you a happy holiday season.” In attendance were group members Jennifer Martin, Rabbi Yaniv Meirov, Rabbi Hayim Schwartz, Yaakov Serle, and Alan Sherman.

Together, we spoke with Commanding Officer Deputy Inspector Kevin Chan from the 107, who urged us to warn readers of the need to keep cars locked and valuables out of sight, as thefts have been on the rise. We also met the newly-installed Executive Officer, Captain Erik Krauss, who assumed his position over this past month, and Community Affairs Officer Kevin McCarthy. In the weeks ahead, the QJA will lead further conversations to keep the NYPD apprised of community developments and concerns. Aaron Laub, Meshulem Lisker, Shlomo Meirov, David Mordukhaev, Rabbi Chaim Schwartz, and I also joined in the gesture of appreciation to the officers.

On Motza’ei Shabbos, December 25, the 112th police precinct officers, servicing Forest Hills and Rego Park, were recognized by Beth Gavriel Community Center, Alliance of Bukharian Americans, Chazaq, QBSP-Shmira, Bukharian Jewish Link, Queens Jewish Link, and Chazaq Organization. David Koptiev, Avraham Pinkhasov, Yaakov Serle, and I joined the sergeant on duty and some of his fellow officers to thank the officers for their bravery and dedication. “You are always ready to step up and help out!” read a note presented. “May you and your families be blessed with safety, security, health, and prosperity. Thank you for all you do to keep us protected and safe all year long.”

The organizations acknowledge the efforts of an anonymous employee at the 112 who encouraged the delivery. Once again, we went to Naomi’s Pizza, whose staff went to considerable lengths to ensure the pizza would be ready on a busy Saturday night. “Naomi’s Pizza is proud to join all the local organizational partners in providing delicious, warm pizza to the officers this holiday season,” said Shlomo Zalman Schwartz, proprietor of the longstanding Main Street establishment.

At both precincts, we became aware of the large number of officers who were unfortunately out sick. We wish all members of law enforcement and their families a quick and speedy recovery.

By Shabsie Saphirstein