An extraordinary collaboration between the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, the Lakewood Police Department and the Orthodox Jewish Community of Lakewood, New Jersey took place at Lake Terrace in Lakewood, New Jersey on Tuesday, March 13, 2007.
The day long event entitled Bagels, Lox and Cops: Getting to Know the Orthodox Jewish Community provided an opportunity for representatives of the Orthodox Jewish Community to share cultural concerns with law enforcement personnel from throughout Ocean County. Every agency in the county was represented by its chief or designated officer. Additional law enforcement agency representation included:
New Jersey State Police
Ocean County Department of Corrections
County of Ocean Sheriff’s Office
State of New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness
The day long conference included presentations, a panel discussion and a question and answer session.
The first part of the program included opening remarks from Ocean County Prosecutor Thomas F. Kelaher and his assistants, Chief Daniel T. Mahony and Deputy Chief Robert J. Peck as well as Chief Robert C. Lawson of the Lakewood Police Department.
This was followed by presentations from various Jewish Orthodox Rabbis:
Rabbi Aron Kotler – Beth Medrash Govoha and the growth of the Lakewood Orthodox Community.
Rabbi Abe Muller – Interaction Between Sexes EMS / Customs / Hatzolah
Rabbi Menashe Miller – Sabbath and the Jewish Holidays
Rabbi Ben Heinemann – Kosher Dietary Laws
Rabbi Yisroel Schenkolewski – Accidents, Deaths and Autopsies
As well as:
Deputy Mayor Meir Lichenstein – Chair: Panel Discussion
Anti-Defamation League – Hate on Display, Extremist Groups, Symbols and Venues
Deputy Chief Charles Smith – Police Response to the Orthodox Community
Rabbi Aron Kotler of the Beth Medrash Govoha (the largest Talmudical Academy in the United States) stated that “Ocean County is the fastest growing county in New Jersey and a prime location for Orthodox Jews to live.” He explained core values of the Jewish life as including a sensitivity to others especially through acts of charity and the importance of understanding different cultures.
Rabbi Menashe P. Miller spoke about understanding the Sabbath as a day of rest and explained the various Jewish holidays:
This event begins to develop an appreciation and understanding of the Orthodox Jewish community and customs within the law enforcement ranks of Ocean County and is a concrete application of all that is great in our nation as stated in the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.“