The Young Israel of East Brunswick (YIEB) will pay tribute at its annual dinner to a category described as “guardians of the Jewish people.” This group includes security volunteers, police, and former synagogue members who serve as lone soldiers in the Israel Defense Forces.
The synagogue has 14 former or current lone soldiers who volunteer to serve in the military, but have no family in Israel, said synagogue fund-raising vice president David Falk, who is hopeful several of the soldiers will be in attendance.
He also said the synagogue will honor the 20-30 member volunteers who were trained by the New York-based Community Security Service and now guard YIEB during Shabbat, holiday services, and special events.
Included in the accolades is East Brunswick Police Officer Robert Noel, whom Falk said the shul considers “our crossing guard” because for years he has helped members cross Dunhams Corner Road, the busy street where YIEB is located.
“He is beloved and a true mensch,” said Falk. “The children look for him every week. He is a friendly and kindhearted person.”
The Youth Service Award will be given to Max and Eden Schechter, twin high school seniors who hold leadership positions on the synagogue’s youth board and National Conference of Synagogue Youth chapter.
Honoring the guardians who keep the Jewish community safe is especially meaningful to Falk, a Pittsburgh native, in light of the mass shooting at Tree of Life synagogue in October, 2018.
“I unfortunately knew several of the people killed,” he said.
The dinner will be held Feb. 10, at 5 p.m. at the Holiday Inn of East Windsor. For information, contact 732 485-3268 or firstname.lastname@example.org.