Video & Photos: NYPD & FDNY Make Surprise Birthday Party For Yuri Benefeld


YW-FDNY NYPD Birthday-056.jpg(Photo & Video links posted below) Flatbush, NY: Wheelchair-bound Yuri Benefeld had a simple request for his 12th birthday: a visit by a police officer, and a firefighter. But Yuri never dreamed of of the present he received yesterday.

A phone call by Yuri’s mother to Community Askan Mr. Shlomo Zakheim, and Raizy Goldberger of Chai Lifeline – ended up with 45 members of the NYPD and FDNY showing up yesterday for a surprise party.

Apparently, Mr. Shlomo Zakheim stopped by Engine Co. 309, and asked if they could stop by Yuri’s home – who is R”L suffering from Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a genetic disorder marked by progressive muscle weakness that leads R”L to paralysis – and wish him happy birthday. The FDNY said they would gladly stop by.

Mr. Moish Goldberg (“Uncle Moish”) from Chai Lifeline then contacted the Misaskim organization to see if they can use their vast resources in the NYPD, and possibly arrange a police officer to stop by for the party.

And stop by they did!

Approximately 30 police officers, starting with Brooklyn South’s Chief Fox, 70th Precicent’s Deputy Inspector Montifortie – along with a contingency of police officers from his precinct, NYPD-ESU (Truck 6 units), and canine units.

The party started with Engine 309 presenting Yuri with a birthday cake, a toy fire hat, and a toy ax. They made sure to bring along the station’s black-and-while Dalmatian, which really made Yuri smile. The firefighters soon saw that Yuri’s blanket, had patches from many emergency agencies, and upon Yuri’s request, one of the FDNY’s bravest did an amazing thing. Firefighter James Breslin, removed his sweatshirt, took out a pocket-knife and cut his own patch off, and gave it to Yuri to add to his vast collection.

Shortly after, Chief Fox arrived, along with the Emergency Service Units (ESU), canine units, and Inspector, Sergeants, and officers of the 70th Pct.

After much hard work, and assistance from veteran Flatbush Hatzolah Paramedic Beinish Mandel, the officers managed to hoist Yuri high up into the front seat of the massive police truck, and fulfilled his birthday wish by giving him a ride around the block with the lights and sirens wailing.

The smile on Yuri’s face is not something which can be described in writing, when Chief Fox presented Yuri with his own chief cap along with a badge.

The party ended with the NYPD singing happy birthday, to a cheerful Yuri on his 12th birthday.

The NYPD & FDNY must be publicly commended for this amazing act of Chesed (kindness) which they did, and we can only pray that in the merit of this good deed, may g-d protect them from any harm.

Later at night, a group of people who learn with the “King of Jewish Music”, Mordechai Ben David in Flatbush every Thursday night went over to Yuri’s home with live music and entertained Yuri for about two hours – singing all his favorite tunes on his request.

It is interesting to note, that Yuri’s birthday coincided with the 8th anniversarry of Chief Fox – acting as Chief of Brooklyn South. Additionally, it was the first full day of work for Deputy Inspector Montiforti – who just replaced retired Inspector Harris (reported HERE on YWN). What a way to celebrate an anniversarry, and what a way to start a new job!

Exclusive video can be seen by clicking HERE, and photos can be seen by clicking HERE.  

(Yehuda Drudgestein – YWN / Photo Credit: Raphael Grynsztajn – YWN)


  1. i kniow uri from being a counsler in camp with him. what an adorable kid. HE HAS LIGHT (led) ON HIS WHEELCHAIR TOO!!!! what a beautiful story. wow!!

  2. What a beautiful story!!!!

    What a beautiful thing that all these goyim saw how much we go out of our way to make our sick feel as happy as possible!

    For once, I felt that my tax dollars were put to good use. 🙂

  3. wow kal hakavod to the firemen and nypd who came for the b-day party may hashem whach over them
    it really is an amazing chesed
    and a really big yasher koiach to those askanim who made it happen!!!! tizkeh l’mitvos

  4. Mega-Kudos to the NYPD, FDNY, Mordechai Ben David and those who came with him and to all the wonderful people who made this happen. I was all teary eyed reading about this. In this merit, may G-d watch over and protect all the FDNY and NYPD members as they risk their lives daily to protect their fellow New Yorkers, and shower everyone involved with health and success.

  5. I am a camper from camp simcha and I know this kid from camp! Happy birthday uri!

  6. im sitting at work and i think i just broke my keyboard from tearing on it. may god bless all those kind individuals who took their time to make a sick kid happy.

  7. WOW! What a thrill for Yuri n”y. Hats off to the NYPD and NYFD. They truly know what it means to serve the public.
    CHAI Lifeline and Misaskim-two incredible organizations that tirelessly serve the Klal.
    Great story. Thanks for sharing it with us. Too bad it wasn’t covered by the press. They always manage to miss the good stuff.

  8. aammaazziinngg!! wwwooowww!!! happy b-day yuri(uri)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! thank you 2the nypd fdny 4 making it a memoriol time 4 yuri(uri) u get a-lot of cretit!

  9. wow!!! happy birthday!!! this made me tear, it was so beautiful! much thanks to the nypd and fdny for taking time out to make a jewish kid happy!

  10. James Breslin deserves a big award for the best
    birthday present ever. All of us should give the police and fire department a big thank you for coming, and giving this boy a happy birthday. We should also use the opportunity to invite them to the bar mitzvah (any volonteers to host it?). We also owe Chai Lifeline and Misaskim much more than we even dream. Even if any of you individually didn’t hear anything about them, we are supposed to be ‘keish echod belev echod’. If any part of the klal is made happy by someone, we owe something to the one who did it.