Boro Park, Brooklyn – On Tuesday, Community Board 12 hosted a meeting, via zoom, with New York City’s Fire, Sanitation and Police Departments, along with community leaders, community organizations and elected officials, to review plans in anticipation of the upcoming Pesach Holiday. Although COVID restrictions have eased somewhat since last year Pesach, the pandemic remains, therefore procedures were adopted so a kosher Pesach can safely be celebrated.
The meeting follows an annual tradition, first instituted by Rabbi Edgar Gluck in 1966, of hosting a multi-agency conference to facilitate the coordination of Passover planning. The group discussed the need for additional city services as well as the need for the community’s cooperation to maximize efficiency of resources and ensure safety. The agenda this year focused on; sanitation services needed to accommodate the inevitable increase in trash before the holiday, maintaining a visible security presence throughout the holiday, and a strategy to lessen the inevitable frustration encountered in the pre-holiday traffic. The agenda also covered sanitation container locations, and most importantly, the protocols to follow to avoid any serious injuries resulting from Sreifas Chometz as well as COVID prevention guidelines to follow.
“I am once again thankful to our partners in City government for working with us, as they do every year, to help us have a safe and healthy Pesach. Last year Pesach we struggled with COVID shortages of resources, but I’m confident that this year the City of New York will come through once again and ensure safety and cleanliness of our district this Pesach season. Our community organizations support the efforts of the NYPD and FDNY so these agencies can be super focused on their tasks at hand: providing essential services. Our annual meetings serve as an example of a beneficial government-community relationship with a common purpose of service to the public.” said Community Board 12 Chairman Yidel Perlstein. “Thank you to all the community leaders and city officials who participated in this” added Perlstein.
“I am thankful to all our devoted partners in public service; the city agencies, community organizations, and elected officials for taking time out of their demanding schedules to participate in this meeting. The cooperation of this meeting’s participants is why Erev Pesach is a day that the community can safely engage in the hectic concerns common with Seder preparations. I especially would like to commend the DSNY, FDNY, and the NYPD whose expressed desire for a worry free, joyful Pesach Holiday for our residents drives the efforts to accommodate the unique needs it brings. These agencies devote countless hours and resources towards this goal. A special thanks to our partners in the Shomrim, Hatzolah, Chaveirim, Misaskim and other organizations who serve a vital role in keeping everyone safe,” said District Manager Barry Spitzer.
“The pre-Pesach accommodation is a testament to New York City’s commitment to fostering diverse religious practices and worship. The agencies that deliver the essential services that allow our Pesach celebration should be rightly recognized; FDNY thank you for keeping us safe and injury free so we can perform Sreifas Chometz, NYPD thank you for providing additional security so we can celebrate Pesach with peach of mind, DSNY thank you for helping clean up the district for Pesach” said Councilman Kalman Yeger. “I commend District Manager Spitzer, Chairman Perlstein and all our community organizations for going beyond the call of duty in coordinating this delivery of vital services to relieve some of the burden of Yom Tov preparations.”
The FDNY delegation consisted of Brooklyn Borough Commander, Chief Joseph Ferrante; Staten Island Borough Commander, Chief Kevin Woods; Division 11 Commander, Deputy Chief Bradley Walls; FDNY Community Affairs Director Fabricio Caro and Assistant Director Sandra Sanchez; Captain Michael Doda of Ladder Company #148 and Captain Moe Iftikhar of Engine #282. Joining them from the Department of Sanitation was Assistant Chief Daniel Lindley; Deputy Chief John Imbriale; Chief Frank Esposito and Assistant Chief Ricky Cyrus from Sanitation Enforcement and Stephen Caruso from Community Affairs. Joining them from the New York Police Department was Community Affairs Executive Officer, Deputy Inspector Richie Taylor; Brooklyn South Commanding Officer, Chief Brian J. Conroy and representing Brooklyn South Community Affairs Commanding Officer Lieutenant Ira Jablonsky was Officer Thomas Nihill. Representing the 66th Precinct was Commanding Officer Captain Jason Hagestad and Community Affairs Sergeant Ralph Postiglione. NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea made an appearance as well. Also, in attendance were Councilman Kalman Yeger; Sol Reiger representing Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein; Gabi Friedlander from Councilman Brad Lander’s office; Miri Taylor from Senator Simcha Felder’s office and Pinny Ringel, Senior Liaison from the Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit. Representing the organizations who lead the coordination and safety of the events was Marc Katz, from 66th Precinct Community Council & Shomrim Coordinator; Shomrim Coordinator Yiddy Rosman; Shomrim Coordinator Motty Brauner, as well as the Coordinator of Staten Island Shomrim Ari Weiss. Rabbi Edgar Gluck, Senior Community Liaison; Rabbi Bernard Freilich, Senior Community Liaison; Bernie Gips, Senior Coordinator of Hatzolah; Rabbi Jack Mayer, founder of Misaskim; and Chaim Fleischer, Coordinator of Chaveirim were also in attendance.
Following is some important information from the items that were discussed at the meeting:
Bread Burning Schedule: Some adaptations were included in this year’s bread burning due to the COVID pandemic. Masks and social distancing will be required at each site. The fires will be done at the designated locations only and directly on the ground and not in containers. The fires will be completely fenced off by barriers. No one should go beyond the barriers. The perimeter will be strictly enforced by the Shomrim and NYPD.
Once the deadline for bread burning has passed, FDNY will put out the fires. DSNY will then collect and dispose the remains and clean the sites.
Bread burning will occur on Friday, March 26th. All bread burning must be completed by 11:45 am. For the safety of our community, the Fire Department will strictly enforce this 11:45 deadline.
Please adhere to the following simple rules to ensure the safety of our loved ones during this holiday and make collections easier and faster:
Only Chometz Gamor should be burned, as required. Household trash that is not actual Chometz should be disposed of as regular trash. We have seen people throw all types of garbage into the fire in previous years. This is not required and contributes to larger than necessary fires that increase the risk of injury.
DO NOT throw any flammable or combustible items into the fire, including paint thinners, aerosol cans, sprays, lighter fluid, any liquid that is used to ignite the fire or any other flammable liquid.
Do not throw bottles, both glass and plastic, into the fire. This is extremely dangerous. In the past there have been some serious accidents resulting from improper disposal of such items in the fire.
Do not throw Chometz enclosed in silver foil into the fire, it will not burn.
A complete list of approved fire sites is attached below. The fire sites will be supervised by volunteers from Shomrim and Chaveirim; please follow their instructions.
Please be advised that the Police and Fire Departments will absolutely not allow any unsanctioned fires, neither on the streets nor in dumpsters. The Police and Fire Departments will be on the lookout for any of these fires and will extinguish them immediately. We are asking the community to please be considerate and take into account the hard work and great expense it took to set this up and cooperate fully with this system.
Sanitation Pickup Schedule:
DSNY will begin collecting all extra Pesach related garbage, including bulk, on Monday, March 15. We ask that you are diligent in placing your garbage out as early as possible so DSNY can collect it all over the 2 weeks before Pesach. Please do not wait until the last minute to put out your extra garbage. The Sanitation Department will collect all the trash in the district within the three days preceding Pesach: Thursday, Friday, and Shabbos, according to the regular collection schedule. We ask that you make every effort to place all of your trash for collection as early as possible, please do not wait until the last pre- Pesach collection.
DSNY will attempt to do a district wide pick-up on Shabbos, Erev Pesach. The thoroughness of this extra collection is dependent on the availability of resources and time. We strongly urge all residents to put their garbage out for collection as soon as possible to avoid overloading the trucks. We also urge you not to procrastinate any garbage for the Shabbos, Erev Pesach collection. All residents should place whatever garbage there is for pickup on Thursday and Friday even if Shabbos is your scheduled collection day. This is the only way DSNY can accommodate a thorough Erev Pesach collection. Should someone have a missed pickup please do not hesitate to call our office at 718-851-0800.
As an added benefit, the Sanitation Department will be cleaning certain major commercial strips in the district using MLPs (Motor Litter Patrols) and heavy-duty blowers.
Please be advised that all bulk items and cardboard boxes should be tied up and placed out neatly. All mattresses and box springs must be entirely wrapped, preferably in a store-bought bed bug bag or in plastic. If a mattress or box spring is placed out without being wrapped, Sanitation will not collect them. Additionally, DSNY requested as a time saving measure to try and place the garbage in bags curbside, and not in garbage cans. If you are able, please accommodate this request.
Sanitation will provide dumpsters at designated sites for additional garbage drop-off. A list of these container locations and burn sites is being published along with this press release. It is illegal to place anything other than household trash in these containers. In previous years there has been commercial dumping, especially construction materials, at these sites. This year DSNY will closely monitor the containers, any illegal disposals may result in a fine. It is not only illegal to dump commercial garbage; it is highly inconsiderate. Doing so leaves no room for household trash other residents are trying to dispose of.
Community Safety: As they do on every major holiday, the NYPD will be deploying additional resources to ensure the community’s safety. There will be round- the- clock police coverage on 53rd Street and 13th Avenue and on Avenue L and East 9th Street. Please feel free to approach these police officers with any issues. There will also be patrol cars driving throughout the district on the first two nights of Pesach as an increased security measure for those out late after the Sedarim. The NYPD will continually patrol throughout Pesach, especially during the Yom Tov days.
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