Sponsoring meals for New York’s Finest is nothing new for the organizations, groups, and leaders of Queens Jewry. It is always a commendable effort, especially for those who stand up to join in the financial costs. This year, several holiday initiatives were launched by Queens Borough Safety Patrol-Shmira to show allegiance and appreciation to the local NYPD precincts for whom they act as eyes and ears throughout the year. These meals help solidify the bonds created with the officers and the higher brass, and they were organized to ensure that the officers are remembered on a day they would much rather spend celebrating alongside family and friends.
While this program had been run in the past on a smaller scale, with the rise in anti-Semitism and a general increase in crime, Shmira stepped up the efforts considerably. At the behest of a frum employee stationed at the 112th Precinct, I put into play a series of meals that were delivered to the police officers ahead of their tours on the eve and day of the secular holidays this past weekend. We began with Motza’ei Shabbos dinner deliveries of Benjy’s Pizza to the 107th and 112th Precincts. The officers were visibly moved that the Jewish community cared enough to show up for the officers when most eateries were closed for the holiday. One officer exclaimed her emotional thank you with a tear in her eye, not because she was undernourished, but because of the genuine care without the need for recognition. This sentiment summed up the breakfast deliveries to the same two precincts the next morning.
I met Avraham Pinkhasov, Coordinator, QBSP-Shmira, and Jewish liaison to the 112th Precinct, bright and early Sunday morning at Jerusalem Bagels on 108th Street, where we organized bagels and platters of spreads. For dinner, Benjy’s put together a delicious pasta menu that brought real holiday cheer and ignited the spirit of Chanukah within the officers. Yoni Fricker, Coordinator, QBSP-Shmira, was on hand to oversee each of these deliveries, beginning with the 112, where we heard words from Pesach Osina, Jewish liaison to New York City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams. “We thank each one of you for going out there to make sure these neighborhoods are secure and safe. The residents of these communities, and the entire City of New York, thanks you.”
“This is family season,” remarked Pinkhasov at the final visit in Forest Hills. “We appreciate the officers for deciding to come in to work and show presence in the community and not take a vacation day. This is the least we can do to show thanks from the Jewish community you have committed to protect and serve each day.”
Next, we visited Kew Gardens’ 102nd Police Precinct, where Captain Eynat Naor, Executive Officer, looked forward to continued partnerships. This program was made a reality in large part through a donation from the Queens Jewish Community Council (QJCC) and numerous community partners who answered a call on social media to partner. Rabbi Mayer Waxman, Executive Director, QJCC, has shined as a leader and supporter of our law enforcement. Similarly, Rabbi Daniel Pollack, clergy liaison to the 102, and his wife, alongside Rabbi and Mrs. Avrohom Hecht and Rabbi and Mrs. Aaron Cyperstein, each contributed to the display of gratitude showed in Kew Gardens. “We thank you for being here every single day of the year,” said Rabbi Pollack. “It is 24/7, 365.” The rabbi went on to relate how the three holidays of Chanukah, X-mas, and Kwanzaa all coincide in joyous celebration, and how this dinner gesture was a small means of saying thank you.
We also commend Sorolle Idels, Chairperson, Queens Jewish Alliance, and member Alan Sherman for sharing the light of Chanukah with a doughnut delivery to the 107th Police Precinct, and the offices of Assembly Member Daniel Rosenthal and Council Member Linda Lee.
By Shabsie Saphirstein
Community Outreach Coordinator, Queens Borough Safety Patrol-Shmira