Last week, the Flatbush Jewish Community Coalition, FJCC, hosted a Leadership Meeting with community leaders and NYPD officials, together with Flatbush Hatzoloh and Flatbush Shomrim. The purpose of the event was to introduce the NYPD’s new Chief of Department Terence Monahan to the community leadership. It would be the first time that the Chief of Department would be addressing an Orthodox Jewish group, and represented a major milestone in leadership interaction between the Jewish community citywide and the NYPD.
The FJCC was established in July of 2013 to unite and represent the greater Flatbush Jewish community on communal, civic, and political concerns. The Coalition represents over 200 organizations, shuls, Yeshivas, and Bais Yaakovs. According to Josh Mehlman, Chairman of the FJCC, “When community organizations, Rabbonim and lay leaders work together they form a united front that benefits all of us on many levels.”
The meeting, held at the Flatbush Hatzoloh building, was attended by over fifty prominent community Rabbonim and leaders. Also in attendance were NYPD Brooklyn South Commanders Chief Steven Powers and Chief Charles Scholl, and community affairs Lt. Ira Jablonsky, and commanders of the 60, 61, 63, 66, 70 police precincts- Inspector Joseph Hayward, Captain James King, Captain Tito Romero, Inspector David Wall, and Inspector James Palumbo, respectively.
In a meaningful program, community leaders expressed their appreciation to the NYPD and their desire to work together for the common good. Josh Mehlman served as MC of the event and welcomed the officers and the community leaders, whose attendance indicates their deep commitment to serving the community. Rabbi Meir Platnik, Rov of Khal Kesser Yisroel Mordechai, gave the invocation and Raphael Treitel, FJCC executive board member, longtime Hatzolah member and NYPD community liaison, thanked the commanders for their dedication the community’s safety. A farewell cake was presented by members of Flatbush and Boro Park Hatzoloh to Chief Steven Powers who will be retiring this month.
Malcolm Hoenlein, Executive Vice Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, is also a Founder and Honorary Chairman of the FJCC. “This event,” he said, “is of special importance to all of us. Our tradition teaches us to respect those in authority. That’s why we teach our children to respect the police and law enforcement. It’s a great privilege for me to express our hakoras hatov, our appreciation, to you for your services.“He also addressed Chief Monahan, saying, “We found a partner in the Chief who understands the importance of communities.”
As the developer of the Neighborhood Policing Philosophy, Chief Monahan believes that the community and the police department need to be united. Chief Monahan indicated that as a result of Neighborhood Policing, “crime is down in Brooklyn South, and the city has become much safer.”
Leaders of many organizations participated in the Leadership Meeting, including Leon Goldenberg executive board member FJCC and Vice President COJO Flatbush; Moshe Wulliger, executive board member FJCC and Flatbush Hatzoloh coordinator; Zelig Gittelis, Eli Fischer, Avrumi Rubin, and Isaac Ungar of Flatbush Hatzoloh; Peter Rebenwurzel executive board member FJCC, NYPD liaison, and Vice Chair Maimonides Hospital; Pinny Ringel of the Mayor’s Office; Rabbi Abe Friedman of the Boro Presidents office; Rabbi Yanky Mayer of Misaskim; Rabbi Zvi Gluck of Amudim; Chaskel Bennett co-founder FJCC and board member Agudath Israel; David Mandel of Ohel; Rabbi Mordechai Gobioff of Chai Lifeline; Bob Moscovitz, executive board member FJCC and Flatbush Shomrim coordinator; Michael Wahba, Naftali Rosenberg and Ezra Kapnick of Flatbush Shomrim;
Yehuda Eckstein member Community Board 14 and NYPD liaison; Boruch Gips and Hertzka Halpert of Boro Park Hatzoloh;
Yidel Perlstein, Chairman and Barry Spitzer, District Manager of Community Board 12; Ephraim Nirenberg executive board member FJCC, member Community Board 14, NYPD liaison; Alan Esses executive board member FJCC, Sephardic Bikur Holim and Hatzoloh; Rabbi Beirish Freilich, David Heskiel, Ari Weiss NYPD liaisons; Dovi Zeitlin of FJCC and NYPD liaison; Steve Frolich, President of the 60 Precinct Community Council; Rabbi Mendel Schechter of Yeshiva Chaim Berlin; Rabbi Yitzchok Gottdiener of Yeshiva Torah Vodaas; Dudi Spira, Binyomin Berry, Yitzchok Fuchs, Chaim Mayer, Mark Z. Newman, Yaakov Shapiro, FJCC board members; Boris Noble, Cong. Talmud Torah of Flatbush.
Flatbush Rabbonim present included Rabbi Mendel Teitelbaum, Rabbi Yaakov Shulman, Rabbi Boaz Bar Dea and Rabbi Meir Platnick.
The meeting was an excellent start to what promises to become a positive and rewarding relationship with the Chief of Department. “We are really grateful and privileged to consider you a friend,” said Mr. Hoenlein.