New York State Senator Eric Adams (D) visited with some of his constituents in a Sukkah in the Crown Heights Jewish community, Monday evening.
The Senator, who is also NYS Chairman of the Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs met with leaders of the Chabad Lubavitch movement where the conversation focused on the activities of Chabad and its security needs.
Specifically, the Senator responded to concerns raised about support for security for Chabad institutions in the New York area, as well as for the state’s Jewish communities at large.
Senator Adams, who represents the 20th Senate District, spoke warmly of Crown Heights, which he referred to as “the heart” of his district.
The Senator said he recognizes the unique challenges faced by an organization as broad and visible as Chabad-Lubavitch, and expressed his desire to work closely with Chabad on this matter.
“I am working on educating other governmental officials including the Secretary of Homeland Security about the unique challenges that confront the Chabad-Lubavitch community and about addressing their security needs,” he said.
Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky, Chairman of the Chabad-Lubavitch educational and social services divisions, noted the significance of this meeting taking place in the Sukkah which recalls the “Clouds of Glory” that protected the Jewish people during their 40-year journey in the desert.
“We need G-d’s protection,” said Rabbi Krinsky pointing to the Sukkah, the traditional makeshift dwelling that Jewish people reside in during the weeklong festival of Sukkot. Addressing Senator Adams, he said, “And by Divine Providence, you are in a strategic position to affect the appropriate security needs.”
Rabbi Mendel Sharfstein of Chabad-Lubavitch Headquarters, further underscored that just as the Sukkah represents inclusiveness, and embraces everyone within its walls equally, so too, security today is clearly a universal concern.
“It’s a fundamental right and concern of every human being and every parent.”
Pointing to Devorah Halberstam whose son Ari was murdered by terrorists in 1994, and who has since become an activist in the fight against terrorism, the Senator said, “We must all learn from her example and be committed to make sure we do everything we can do to protect our families and community.”
Other participants were Rabbi Yosef B. Friedman of Kehot, Zalman Feldman of Lubavitch Headquarters and Berel Sugar of the Jewish Leadership Council.