Archive for the tag 'flatbush shomrim'

From the office of City Councilman Chaim Deutsch:

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Source: FSSP via Twitter

Source: FSSP via Twitter

A new group has launched with the goal of expanding the services of shomrim, or Jewish civilian patrol, into a broad swath of Gravesend.

Community Safety & Security (CSS) is an affiliate of the Sephardic Community Federation, and is working on a recruitment drive to bring volunteers to the well-established Flatbush Shomrim Safety Patrol, which could begin patroling the area.

The borders of the area under consideration are Avenue I to the north, Avenue Y to the south, Coney Island Avenue to the east and McDonald Avenue to the west.

“CSS is a new organization that will work to keep our communities safe by establishing initiatives to help reduce crime and increase public safety. We hope to work with the public, law enforcement and community watch groups to achieve these goals,” said Avi Spitzer, executive director of the Sephardic Community Federation.

Spitzer said they already have a core group of volunteers, and hope to build up operations and activities over time. Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz has offered to help the group identify potential sources of funds for their project. CSS is headed by Jack Cayre, the scion of developer and real estate magnate Joseph Cayre.

CSS is not formally affiliated with Flatbush Shomrim.

Flatbush Shomrim Executive Coordinator Bob Moskowitz said that they have not started patrolling the new area, nor have they made a decision on whether or not they will.

“It’s under consideration right now. It’s not a done deal. There’s a lot of logistics involved,” Moskowitz said. “I’d like to help them out, but we have to look at it and see if we can do it. But we can’t help every community that asks us to. Right now it’s still up in the air. If it’s something that’s doable, we’d love to.”

Spitzer said the goal of CSS’s effort right now is to bolster shomrim’s manpower with volunteers from the proposed coverage area, which would provide the resources needed for patrols.

Flatbush Shomrim was founded in 1991 by now-Councilman Chaim Deutsch. Shomrim volunteers patrol the neighborhoods in marked and unmarked vehicles, calling 911 when they see an emergency, monitoring the activities of people they believe to be suspicious, and calling for other volunteers if they feel the need. They can often be the first to respond to a scene of a low-level incident, where they can make a citizen’s arrest if necessary.

Community shomrim patrols have also been the source of controversy. Critics say they can sometimes be overzealous in their duties, inflame ethnic tensions and, at times, an obstacle to police investigations within the Jewish community. Some patrols receive taxpayer funds and resources through the offices of elected officials.

If you’d like to volunteer for shomrim patrols, contact CSS at (347) 781-4679 or by email at CSS@SephardicFederation.org

The leading candidates in the 48th District City Council race to replace term-limited Michael Nelson battled it out at the Manhattan Beach Jewish Center during a candidate’s forum held by the Jewish Press last week, expounding on their qualifications for the job and their proposals for improving the district.

Mixed in the melee, which included a handful of attacks on their fellow candidates, the four leading Democrats and one Republican expressed mixed support for participatory budgeting, an innovative plan implemented by some City Council members to provide a more democratic and transparent way of distributing millions of dollars of discretionary funding throughout the district.

Three of the five Democrats – Theresa Scavo, Igor Oberman and Chaim Deutsch – expressed explicit support for participatory budgeting when asked about the need for reform to the process, while the fourth Democrat, Ari Kagan, and the lone Republican, David Storobin, suggested that they would continue to oversee distribution of discretionary funds without holding public meetings, the core characteristic of participatory budgeting.

Read their positions on participatory budgeting, and find out what else happened at the forum.

Chaim Deutsch

Chaim Deutsch

(I wish there was a synonym for candidate that began with “b” so we could have really rocked that headline, but…)

A notorious package thief who has been nabbing UPS and FedEx deliveries in Midwood and Marine Park all summer was busted thanks in part to the efforts of City Council candidate Chaim Deutsch, the Flatbush Shomrim and concerned citizens tired of being victimized.

According to a press release, the thief in question had been walking up to people’s homes with a clipboard in an effort to appear official. He would then scoop up packages from houses where no one was home and place them in his truck.

The press release went on to explain how Deutsch helped catch the crook:

Chaim Deutsch, founder of The Flatbush Shomrim, received a frantic call from a woman vacationing upstate. She told Mr. Deutsch that as she was expecting packages to be delivered to her home, as well as being a victim two weeks prior, she decided to monitor her cameras from upstate NY. To her amazement, there was the thief removing packages from her porch. Mr. Deutsch immediately contacted a member of Flatbush Shomrim to locate the thief while also alerting the NYPD.

The responding Flatbush Shomrim member immediately began a canvass of the area. Within several minutes, he spotted the thief with a clipboard in hand which fit the description exactly. The thief then got into an ambulette vehicle that he was driving and proceeded to leave the scene. The eagle-eyed member on the call then contacted Mr. Deutsch who was on the phone with Captain John Rowell, the commanding officer of the 63rd precinct, who immediately dispatched additional officers. Within five minutes, the responding officers pulled over the ambulette and arrested the perpetrator. In the vehicle, the police recovered six stolen packages and a taser gun. The 70th precinct was also contacted as they too had reports of similar thefts. In addition to the homeowners, UPS and FedEx were also pressing charges. The Flatbush Shomrim and its founder Mr. Deutsch are very proud to have been able to assist the community in apprehending this perpetrator.

Deutsch tells Sheepshead Bites that the culprit was a Brighton Beach resident.

We received the following press release from the Flatbush Shomrim:

In response to recent reports from local and federal law enforcement agencies that Identity Theft is at all time high in our community, Flatbush Shomrim has arranged a FREE on-site shredding event before Pesach.

The FREE shredding event is scheduled for this Sunday, March 17th from noon to 4pm, rain or shine. A LionCage Shredding truck will be parked across from HASC – 1221 East 14th Street between Ave. L and Locust Ave.

Organizers have advised that this free service is available for residence only and not for businesses. Limit 1-2 boxes/bags per family. Items to bring include old tax returns, expired IDs, credit cards, sensitive documents etc. Paper only. No metal, plastic or general trash. No need to remove paper clips or staples.

Many of you will have documents that you no longer need. That doesn’t mean you should throw them out in the regular trash. “Identity theft is real” explains Mark from LionCage Shredding. “Especially in this economy, a trash can is a gold mine for ID thieves.”

This event is endorsed by Flatbush Shomrim. “With identity thefts at an all time high, you cannot afford to miss this event” explains Chaim Deutsch. “Taking advantage of this free on-site shredding event is one more easy step to prevent yourself from becoming the next victim,” he warned.

A special thanks to Chaim Deutsch for arranging this free event.

For more information about LionCage Shredding for your business, please call 718.575.LION (5466) or visit them online at: www.LionCage.com

This event is not paid with taxpayer funds.

Source: Kalexanderson / Flickr

If you are feeling overwhelmed by the lasting repercussions from Superstorm Sandy, the Bay Improvement Group (BIG) will be partnering with Project HOPE to offer a 90-minute support group session with professional counselors for Sheepshead Bay residents impacted by the storm.

The session will be held behind closed doors from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m., on Thursday, January 24, in a conference room in BIG’s Mobile Command Center (Flatbush Shomrim Safety Patrol), just west of 3031 Emmons Avenue.

If you feel you would benefit from the opportunity to share your frustrations and, in the process, help others, please attend. There is no requirement to sign up or give your name — just show up. According to BIG Founder and President Steve Barrison, “If enough people show, we’ll set them up with Project HOPE,” which conducts humanitarian assistance programs in more than 35 countries.

If you feel you or someone you know needs to speak to someone immediately, contact (800) 543-3638.

Correction (January 29): The original version of this article stated that HOPE stood for Health Opportunities for People Everywhere. The was incorrect. Health Opportunities for People Everywhere is a different Project HOPE, and is an international program. The Project HOPE discussed in this article is not an acronym, and is a New York State-funded program. 

Photo by Bobby Fernandez

Emergency responders grappled to navigate Southern Brooklyn’s streets in the immediate wake of Superstorm Sandy, as scores of fallen trees blocked major roadways and residential streets alike.

But rather than let a group of do-gooders clear the way for fire trucks, ambulances and police cars, the Parks Department told them to mind their business.

Brooklyn Daily reports:

Once Hurricane Sandy left the city, Flatbush Shomrim founder Chaim Deutsch and his team began cutting up and carting off more than 75 uprooted trees blocking roads and preventing first responders and supply trucks from getting around Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach, Marine Park, and Brighton Beach — until the city shut them down.

“We had a little problem with the Parks Department,” said Deutsch, who claimed that a Parks Department official told him to leave all the fallen trees left on city streets alone. “He said we’re not supposed to be doing that, but I said in a crisis, I’ll do whatever I have to.”

City officials told Deutsch that if the fallen tree wasn’t causing an emergency, its date with a mulch pile will have to wait two weeks — something a man with a gassed-up chainsaw at the ready can’t fathom.

… “Non-certified foresters who do not have permission from Parks should not go out with chainsaws and remove trees,” said Parks Department spokeswoman Megan Lalor. “It’s dangerous.”

According to Deutsch, who also works for Councilman Mike Nelson, Flatbush Shomrim disposed of 75 trees before the Parks Department shut them down. And in an emergency, he said, he’d do it all again.

Photo: Erica Sherman

In a press release this morning from Councilman Michael Nelson restating that his office is temporarily co-locating with State Senator David Storobin, the pol revealed that, like many of us, he too ignored evacuation orders and chose to stay in his office (1605 Voorhies Avenue) and take calls. Here’s what the release said:

On the night of the storm, the Councilman recognized the importance of his personal presence in areas of his district facing danger in order to arrange last minute evacuations and to be available to meet with emergency personnel on the scene so that everything necessary could be done for the safety and wellbeing of his constituents. Unexpectedly the Councilman’s office building located a few blocks from the bay suddenly lost power and started to flood. Nelson became trapped in his District Office at the time of the storm surge. Flooding occurred in the building’s basement, lobby, and elevator shaft and reached the 3rd step leading to the Councilmember’s first floor office. In addition, his vehicle on the street was heavily damaged. Later that evening, a little after midnight, his Chief of Operations, Chaim Deutsch rescued him.

Deutsch is also the founder of the Flatbush Shomrim, and it was actually Shomrim volunteers who risked their lives drudging through the mucky waters to save Nelson. Kudos to them for their selflessness.

Nelson actually told us about the late-night, mid-hurricane rescue mission earlier this week. We asked what he was thinking by returning to his office.

Continue Reading »

Flatbush Shomrim will be distributing hot meals from 6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. in Sheepshead Bay on Ocean Avenue between Avenue Y and Avenue Z.

If anyone might know someone that is home bound they can send the address and to info@flatbushshomrim.org and Shomrim will deliver to them.

Although much attention has been paid locally to the problems in Gerritsen Beach and Coney Island/Seagate, few initiatives have kicked off to help those in that hard hit stretches of Sheepshead Bay, Plumb Beach, Brighton Beach and Manhattan Beach.

Now, though, new collection points, recovery funds and housing initiatives have surfaced in those neighborhoods, and they’re looking for your help in helping neighbors in need:

  • St. Mark Roman Catholic School: The school has kicked off a collection drive for congregants, families of students, and those who live around the institution at 2602 East 19th Street, off of Avenue Z. A list of needs can be found here. Call (718) 332-9304 for more information. (Also, school remains closed as they continue to grapple with power and heat issues.)
  • Congregation Israel of Kings Bay: The synagogue is accepting donations for victims of Hurricane Sandy that are members of or live near the institution. They’re primarily seeking financial assistance.  You may bring in and/or mail checks made to: Cong Israel of Kings Bay, 3903 Nostrand Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11235. Please write “Hurricane Fund” on the memo line. For more information, call Rabbi Winner at (718) 934-5176 or e-mail  rabbiyw@yahoo.com. In addition to financial donations, other needs include sump pumps, mops, handymen, and those willing to open their homes to victims who’ve lost their houses, or are without heat and hot water.
  • Flatbush Shomrim: In addition to extensive recovery efforts throughout Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach and Brighton Beach, the shomrim is organizing a clothing drive at 2294 Nostrand Avenue. Call (917) 710-5112. The group is also looking for people with heat and hot water to open their homes to those who do not have heat as the cold weather moves in. If you’re willing to do so, e-mail info@flatbushshomrim.org, and include how much space you have available.
  • Millennium Development/Bergen Beach Youth Organization - Okay, it’s not Sheepshead Bay, but it is serving as one of few nearby warming centers for those without heat. The group is currently sorting items and distributing them as they hear of needs for specific sizes and items. Drop offs for those giving, or pick ups for those in need can go to the JM Community Center at 2335 Bergen Avenue. If you need more information, or want to make a request for assistance, call  (718) 444-0101 x 115.

We’re still waiting to hear details on other efforts, so please check back often. And, if you know of a place collecting donations or providing assistance, please leave details in the comments.