By Eliot Moses
This past Motzaei Shabbos, the Bais Medrash of Bayswater held their annual melaveh malkah fundraiser in honor of the Rockaway Shomrim. Rabbi Shapiro, the mara d’asra, was kind enough to contribute 50% of the proceeds to the Rockaway Shomrim. It was a star studded evening with many rebbeim and community leaders. Shomrim members and coordinators from as far away as Borough Park and Williamsburg, and Captain Andrea XO of the 100th precinct were all there showing support as well. Captain Kevin Maloney CO of the 101st precinct was regrettably unable to attend, but wanted to.
Captain Maloney has been helpful and works closely with Rockaway Shomrim, even placing an officer at their command center and at the White Shul for three weeks after the storm.
The evening was marked by the presentation of a plaque and night vision binoculars by Rabbi Shapiro to the Rockaway Shomrim for their brave and tireless efforts to protect and serve the Rockaway community, especially during the weeks after Hurricane Sandy. The rabbi spoke of the sifrei Torah rescued in Belle Harbor by the Rockaway Shomrim and gave a special show of gratitude to Captain Andrea.
Captain Andrea was an instrumental part of the Torah rescue, working with Shomrim members to secure the area and provide police assistance. He is always ready to help and a great advocate of the Rockaway Shomrim. During the weeks after the storm, he helped with equipment transfers and supply routes through the heavily damaged Rockaways, allowing Shomrim members to greater help the community.
A masterful video presentation, created by Dynamic Slideshow Productions, was shown at the dinner and is available on YouTube. A video by Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder and Public Advocate Bill Deblasio was also shown. Deblasio, who is running for mayor of New York, is a great friend of the Rockaway Jewish communities. He was personally involved in setting up additional Shabbos security following the storm. Goldfeder was always supportive and was a huge help in ensuring that there was enough food at local food banks and shelters in the aftermath of the disaster.
A separate plaque was presented to Moishe Klien, Shomrim Unit R22, for his heroic efforts during the storm and after. Amongst his many contributions, he made sure there were extra generators and helped people pump water out of their houses. After some areas had their power restored, he personally moved light towers to blacked out areas to provide light and security to families without power. His own house was destroyed in the storm and yet he still made helping others a priority. Elchana Eidelman also deserved a special mention for his heroism in securing live power lines so people would be safe walking around at night.
The community came out to show its support and gratitude for the members of an organization that served the Far Rockaway and Bayswater areas faithfully during its most trying time.
You may contact Rockaway Shomrim at 917-727-7306. Like them on Facebook: Rockaway Citizens Safety Patrol (RCSP). To donate, visit fidelipay.com/RCSP or make a check out to the “RCSP” and mail to 774 Caffrey Avenue; Far Rockaway, NY 11691. v