Staten Island Grand Rav, Harav Tzvi Pollack Shlita and his son, and Rosh Kollel, Harav Chaim Yehuda Pollack, of the Agudath Shomrei Hadas Shul honor the Uniform Services
On April 26, 2021, Staten Island Grand Rav, Harav Tzvi Pollack, Shlita and his son, and Rosh Kollel, Harav Chaim Yehuda Pollack, Shlita of Kehilas Agudath Shomrei Hadas honored New York’s Finest, Bravest and Boldest at their historic Shul located in the Willowbrook section of Staten Island. The event was organized and coordinated by the Staten Island Council of Jewish Organizations (COJO).
Harav Zvi Pollack, is a Staten Island icon currently serving as the borough’s longest serving active Rav. Harav Pollack came to Staten Island nearly 50 years ago, a fledgling community in its infancy. Thanks to the Harav Pollack’s vision the Staten Island community is known today as a serious Makom Torah. About 15 years ago, the Rav saw the need to further support and fortify Torah in the community and under his careful eye the Willowbrook Community Kollel (WCK) under the direction of his son Harav Chaim Yehuda Pollack was established. The Kollel today is highly respected and renown in the Torah world and has succeeded in strengthening Torah for the entire United States.
COJO officials such as Mendy Mirocznik, COJO President, Ari Weiss, COJO security chairman and coordinator of Staten Island Shomrim and Scott Maurer, COJO CEO and Executive Vice-President were in attendance. Top NYPD brass such as Chief Frank Vega, NYPD Staten Island Borough Commander, Lt. Rafet Awad, Commanding Officer, Community Affairs, Patrol Borough Staten Island, Deputy Inspector Tania Kinsella, Commanding Officer, Pct. 120, Deputy Inspector Bruce Ceparano, Commanding Officer, Pct. 121, Captain Michael Galletta, Executive Officer, Pct. 121, Captain Timothy Wilson, Commanding Officer, Pct. 122, and Captain Andrey Smirnov, Commanding Officer, Pct. 123. Top FDNY brass such as Chief Kevin Woods, FDNY Staten Island Borough Commander, and Deputy Chief Brian Gorman, FDNY Deputy Staten Island Borough Commander. Top DSNY brass such as Deputy Chief Daniel Stein, DSNY Borough Commander, and Deputy Chief Matthew Weingartner, DSNY Deputy Borough Commander, were in attendance.
Harav Tzvi Pollack, started the gathering by thanking, “the NYPD, FDNY and DSNY for their selfless heroism and sacrifice throughout the course of the Pandemic.” Harav Pollack emphasized, “we must never take for granted the valiant services of these important first responders. The City Police, Fire and Sanitation are on the front lines during Covid and thanks in large part to their tireless efforts we are making it through this ordeal. Their devotion to the City has kept us safe, clean and operational and as a Rabbi representing Staten Island on behalf of the Jewish community, I thank them for their devoted, dedicating and inspirational service. We also thank them for paying attention to our Pesach and holiday needs and their commitment to helping all people with their needs. I further thank COJO, Mendy Mirocznik, Scott Maurer and Ari Weiss and the Shomrim for being available to the community around the clock. Their communication and contact with the Police, Fire and Sanitation is key in having our needs and concerns conveyed and properly addressed. My prayer and blessing is that the A-Mighty spread his canopy of peace and safety over the Police, Fire and Sanitation and to protect them and reward them for being there for everyone.”
Mendy Mirocznik, commented, “that it is thanks to the Spiritual leadership of Rabbonim such as Harav Tzvi Pollack, Shlita and Harav Chaim Yehuda Pollack, Shlita the Staten Island community is on the map as a Makom Torah. These Rabbonim give of themselves to the community and their efforts are demonstrated in the growth of the community as a strong Kehila. To me personally, I appreciate the luxury of having the availability of calling Harav Pollack and getting his sagely advice on important community matters. This Das Torah is important and it helps guide and shape important communal decisions.”
“Harav Pollack is the one who constantly inspires COJO to push and advocate for the community and Staten Island at large. Harav Pollack’s concern is that all Staten Islander’s be safe, have proper food and feel secure. Harav Pollack encourages COJO to be in constant contact with our Uniformed Services. These trye hero’s the NYPD, FDNY and DSNY keep the City moving and their valiant heroism is what we honor and recognize today. Thanks to the Uniformed Services New York City is surviving the turbulence, violence and rioting that has sadly came with the pandemic. As a community we want the Uniform Services to know we have your back, appreciate you and proudly stand tall with you in an environment that at times unfortunately is cold and not as supportive and appreciative as it should to be. As a community partner COJO’s full support is with the NYPD, FDNY and DSNY and we appreciate, cherish, value and respect your service to the City which you faithfully serve. Together in friendship and unity we will prevail and get through this dark period of Covid. The key to success and a resilient recovery is by appreciating the great role that the Police, Fire and Sanitation provide to the welfare and betterment of New York City. This is the point of today’s festivities. Thank you Uniformed Services for being who and what you are, simply put good people who care.”