Brooklyn, NY – Chesed Shel Emes, the Brooklyn based organization that attends to the needs of any member of the Jewish community, from the time of their death through burial, held a dinner this past Thursday night, June 10th , at the Renaissance Hall in Borough Park to express appreciation to the many dedicated volunteers, government officials and community members who assist them. With close to 500 volunteers, Chesed Shel Emes takes care of approximately one thousand people every year, many of whom have no family, friends or even an affiliation to the Jewish community.
Chesed Shel Emes, founded by Rabbi Mendy Rosenberg twenty five years ago, provides numerous services to the community. From the time of petira, Chesed Shel Emes serves the community, be it with a Tahara, removal of lines and tubes from the deceased, working with appropriate agencies to release bodies promptly to assure a timely burial and fighting autopsies and cremations when necessary. Their services are sometimes required for more unusual needs, such as a Tahara in Puerto Rico or chartering a private jet to transport a niftar from out of town. Their Accident Disaster Recovery Team, who worked together with FEMA in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, has, unfortunately, cleaned hundreds of accident scenes, ensuring that all blood and any severed body parts are buried together with the niftar. To date, Chesed Shel Emes has buried over 1200 m’sei mitzvah, people who have no one else to bury them. Additionally, they operate a Bikur Cholim in several area hospitals and have a group of volunteers available to learn mishnayos for the deceased.
Plaques were presented at the dinner to five individuals, to express appreciation for the invaluable assistance they provide to Chesed Shel Emes. Dr. Stephen Deroux, Deputy Chief Medical Examiner of Kings County, who received the True Kindness Award, told the crowd that as he is just doing his job when he assists Chesed Shel Emes, his award should actually be presented to the many dedicated volunteers who give selflessly of their free time daily. Lieutenant Michael Kelly, Commanding Officer of the NYPD Patrol Accident Investigation Squad and recipient of the Distinguished Service Award, praised Chesed Shel Emes’ volunteers, who respond to accidents in any kind of weather, frequently arriving before his own investigators.
In an interview with VIN News, Director of Operations Meir Berger, who had the distinctive honor of presenting a surprise award to Assemblyman Dov Hikind, who also delivered the keynote address, called the evening “a huge success. While we were prepared for 250 people, extra tables had to be brought in to accommodate everyone. We were honored to see how many volunteers, community leaders and liaisons and representatives of our local police precincts took time out of their busy schedules to attend this milestone event.”
All Video credit CSE-ShiaHD
NY Assemblyman Dov Hikind speaking at the event.
NYC Councilman David Greenfield introducing Fred Kreizman, Deputy commissioner of the Mayor’s Community Unit.
Zvi Gluck, renowned community advocate and member of Chesed Shel Emes speaking.
An overview of Chesed Shel Emes