The calm of a Shabbos morning walk to shul in West Hempstead was shattered when the Nassau County Police Department received a bomb threat targeting the Hebrew Academy of Nassau County’s Early Childhood Center. The unsettling events unfolded rapidly, leading to the evacuation and meticulous search of synagogues in the neighborhood. The threat came on both International Holocaust Remembrance Day and the day that Congressman Anthony D’Esposito was scheduled to appear at the community’s largest synagogue, the Young Israel of West Hempstead.
The Nassau County Police Department acted swiftly upon receiving the threat, mobilizing its resources to ensure the safety of the community. The Hebrew Academy and nearby places of worship underwent thorough searches, reflecting the authorities’ commitment to maintaining public safety. Fortunately, all of these areas were cleared of any threat, and the police told Newsday that they consider this a hoax.
In a statement, County Executive Bruce Blakeman emphasized their dedication to identifying the individuals responsible for the terroristic threat. As the investigation unfolds, the community remains vigilant, with increased patrols in sensitive locations to safeguard the residents’ ability to worship freely. The NCPD coordinated with the volunteers at CSS (Community Security Service) to ensure that everyone was safe.
The evening brought a different atmosphere, as Congressman Anthony D’Esposito took the stage at the Young Israel of West Hempstead. His presence, at a time when the community had faced a threat earlier in the day, served as a beacon of resilience. Addressing the congregation, he spoke of unity and determination: “The way we’re going forward is the only way we can: to have as many people here as possible to show that we’re not afraid.”
Congressman D’Esposito’s remarks transcended the immediate concerns of the bomb threats, delving into his recent trip to Israel. He shared his experiences, highlighting the profound impact of witnessing the scriptures come to life during his three-week visit. The Congressman underscored the strong bipartisan support for the Jewish people and the people of Israel, emphasizing the importance of fostering peace in the Middle East.
Key among the Congressman’s roles is his position as a special envoy to the Abraham Accords, a diplomatic effort to promote peace and cooperation in the region. He stressed the need for continued support for Israel, citing it as the United States’ greatest ally. His advocacy for funding the Iron Dome and the resolution to eradicate Hamas from the planet reflects a commitment to ensuring the safety and security of Israel.
During the Q&A session, questions about Israel’s funding and concerns about Iran were raised. The tie between Israel’s funding and border issues was acknowledged by Congressman D’Esposito, indicating ongoing efforts to address and untie these concerns. On the topic of Iran, he emphasized the importance of showcasing the United States as a world power.
The story of this past Shabbos in West Hempstead is one of resilience and unity. The bomb threats, though disruptive, did not deter the community from going about their daily routine and coming together. Congressman Anthony D’Esposito’s presence underscored the strength that can be found in solidarity. His commitment to fostering a strong relationship between America and Israel resonated, offering reassurance in a time of uncertainty.
In the face of adversity, West Hempstead demonstrated that the community’s spirit remains unbroken. The events of the day serve as a reminder that, even in the darkest moments, unity and shared values can prevail. As Congressman D’Esposito aptly stated, disasters may bring out the worst, but they also reveal the best in people. In West Hempstead, the response to the bomb threats and the Congressman’s address showcased the community’s unwavering resolve to stand together against any challenges that may come their way.
By Moshe Hill