The local Jewish communities paid special tribute to the dedication and daily sacrifices of the local law enforcement this past Friday, December 25. The day was somber for Jews around the world, as many were fasting in accordance with the laws of Asarah B’Teves, which recognizes the siege on Jerusalem that eventually culminated with the destruction of the first Beis HaMikdash.
Coincidentally, the corresponding date this year on the English calendar is also historically celebrated by gentiles. This meant that eateries generally open for officers to purchase meals would be closed. Additionally, organizations and companies that send holiday and New Year’s meals generally arrange these prior to this date, leaving the officers forgotten on their holiday.
Organizers from the Queens Jewish community took notice of this and arranged for pizza lunches to be delivered for the entire staff of both the 107th (primarily serving Kew Gardens Hills and Fresh Meadows) and 112th (serving Forest Hills and Rego Park) police precincts. In coordination with the membership of Queens Jewish Alliance for Action, Shimi Pelman, a Community Board 8 member and local district leader, arranged for food and drink to be delivered to the 107th precinct from Shimon’s Kosher Pizza on Main Street. Both Captain Taso Karathanasis and Community Affairs Officer Pete Capozzi of the 107th acknowledged the thoughtful gesture and sent their blessings and holiday wishes to the Queens Jewish community.
For the 112th police precinct, an Orthodox employee, credited with alerting this writer of the need for this program, worked in unison with Commanding Officer Captain Joseph E. Cappelmann to purchase food from Pizza Palace on 108th Street. The Queens Jewish Alliance for Action coordinated with the Queens Jewish Link/Bukharian Jewish Link and Queens Borough Safety Patrol-Shmira to help subsidize additional delights including pasta dishes and sides for the officers. “To stand united with law enforcement is both a privilege and duty for our publications,” explained co-publisher Yaakov Serle. “It goes without saying that we would help contribute to this effort alongside other notable community leaders.”