Mayor de Blasio wants the Jewish Community to Feel Safe from Crime and COVID over Sukkos
By Yehudit Garmaise
After being reminded that Jews all over New York City will be eating and sleeping outside in their sukkahs for a week, Mayor de Blasio assured Yehudit Garmaise of BoroPark24 that the NYPD in Jewish precincts is very aware of the time of year for the Jewish community and the importance of helping us to feel safe and secure.
“I will make sure that police precincts in Jewish areas know to be extra aware and extra visible in support of the community,” said the mayor, who added that throughout the High Holidays, he heard a lot of appreciation of NYPD’s additional presence around synagogues.
“We will double-check [the extra presence of police during Sukkos] for sure, and I appreciate you pointing out that people really do feel that positive police presence in the key moments of the year and the holiest moments of the year, and that has been a good tradition, and we will continue that,” de Blasio said during his daily press conference.
“Friday night begins the celebration of Sukkot, which is a very important holiday in my tradition,” Mitchell H. Katz, M.D., the CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals, explained to the mayor and many reporters this morning.
By following just a few easy safety protocols, Dr. Katz said that we can “enjoy our festival without the risk of infecting anyone.”
Besides for wearing masks when not eating or drinking, we should try to invite just one other family into our sukkahs, said Dr. Katz, who added that the fact that sukkahs are outside actually make them better environments for inviting guests during COVID than when we are indoors.
“Sukkahs have no roofs because part of the celebration is being able to sit directly under the stars,” Dr. Katz explained.
“Also, it is better for everyone to stay near their family members who are part of their own pods, and for people to keep a good distance from people outside their immediate families,” Dr. Katz explained.
“When my family of four eats with other families,” Dr. Katz shared of his family's entertaining practicing during COVID, “we always eat outside, and we sit with the four of us on one end, then we have a big space, and [then we seat] the other family on the other end, and that seating arrangement does not prevent us from having a great time.
“We can still enjoy each other’s company. We can still tell stories together. We can listen to music."
People in sukkahs should not stay huddled in one spot, and when not eating, people should wear masks.
“If we do those things, we will be able to enjoy our festival without the risk of infecting anyone,” Dr Katz reassured.
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