Photos: Shmuel Amit/COLlive
Crown Heights has recently been plagued with a series of frightening and troubling anti-semitic attacks. These incidents are deeply unsettling and have unfortunately planted feelings of fear and uncertainty into the hearts and minds of Crown Heights residents.
Yet, a small group of incredible individuals have risen up and faced this challenge head-on.
The Guardian Angels, a truly admirable group of people, have undertaken the responsibility of keeping the Jewish community in Crown Heights safe. They patrol the neighborhood and alleviate the unsafe feeling, allowing the Jewish community to not only breathe easier but also showing us that we are not alone.
Aliya Girls is a local organization dedicated to fostering the physical, emotional and spiritual growth of teenage girls and actively works to create a warm, safe and supportive space for the girls. With a full range of programs, one-on-one mentoring, therapy referrals and many other services, Aliya Girls creates relationships to lead the girls to a healthy path in life.
As part of their weekly activities, the girls of Aliya shared their safety concerns with in-house therapist Chaya Kagan. During the course of the discussion, Chaya shared with them who the Guardian Angels were and what they were doing for our community.
The girls were both relieved and touched to hear that there were individuals who not only cared but were taking practical action to make the streets of Crown Heights a safer place for all.
They felt that they had to show their appreciation and this kindness forward. Aliya reached out to the Guardian Angels and invited them to a dinner in their honor so that they could express their gratitude in person.
On January 2nd the Guardian Angels visited Aliya Girls and were treated to a delicious home-cooked meal prepared by the Aliya Girls. It was very special for the girls to be able to meet and chat with the Angels and to have the opportunity to thank them in person for their amazing kindness.
Dovid Margolin, Chabad.Org journalist, shared an inspiring Dvar Torah on the Rebbe’s message about how to combat anti-semitism. Chassidic singer Eli Marcus expressed appreciation to the Angels and sang three songs connected to their mission. The evening concluded with presenting every Guardian Angel with personal thank you letters from the Aliya Girls and a small gift, chamsa keychains, courtesy of Judaica World.
It was a beautiful evening of gratitude, togetherness and community.
Thank you to the Aliya Girls staff who pulled the event together: Chaviva and Meir New, Rachel Natik, Mimi Garelik, Hadassa Katz, Chaya Vita Zeiler, Rivka Lazarus, DL Rosenfeld, Raizl Garelik, Mushka Lipshitz, Dini Hyman, Mussia Zak, Nechy Pinson, Sarale Seewald, Shaina Israel and Miriam Israeli.
Thank you to Dovid Margolin and Eli Marcus for the dinner program and Judaica World for donating the gifts. Dinner was prepared in the ‘Bon Papa’ Kitchen generously donated by the Sussholtz brothers.
Thank you to the Guardian Angels for showing up and standing with Crown Heights.