New York City Police Department

Press Release | 2008-039

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Release # 039
Tuesday, September 16, 2008



NYPD Holds Annual High Holy Days Briefing

Jewish Community and Religious Leaders Attend, Recognize NYPD Detectives for Recovering Torahs Stolen in August

Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly today presided over the NYPD High Holy Days briefing, held every year ahead of the Jewish religious holiday observance. Members of the city’s synagogues, Jewish community cultural centers, civic leaders and NYPD personnel attended.

 

            This year’s briefing was punctuated by the return of eight sacred torahs to the Jewish Center of Kew Garden Hills, a 57-year-old synagogue in Queens. The handwritten religious scrolls and their accompanying silver crown adornments and breast plates were stolen in August from the ark in which they were stored.

 

“There was no sign of forced entry and no other physical evidence – this case was solved with diligent investigative work,” Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said. “Today’s presentation of the torahs not only symbolizes our commitment to one another and the protection of religious freedom, it also illustrates a job well done by police.”

 

Detectives from the 107th Precinct located the torahs within weeks of their disappearance, securing them and the confession of a former maintenance worker of the Center. Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown thanked the police for the recovery at the briefing. He said: “I’m delighted we’ve been able to return the scrolls to the synagogue in time for Rosh Hashanah with the help of the New York City Police Department.”

 

            In addition to the presentation of torahs, the NYPD Intelligence Division provided an overview of the current security landscape and the Police Department’s continuing efforts to protect the city against a terrorist threat.

 

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PHOTOS, NYPD Photo Unit: 1, 2) The NYPD Shomrim Honor Guard presents eight torahs that were returned to the Jewish Center of Kew Garden Hills after being stolen in August.

 

 

 

 

 

 

3) Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly presided over the Department's High Holy Days briefing, held annually ahead of the Jewish religious holidays.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4) (L-R) Sally Goodgold, chair, Jewish Community Relations Council Commission on Jewish Security; Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly, Lieutenant Dennis Klein, commander of the 107th precinct detective squad; Detective Henry Szachacz and Detective Robert Godberson. Klein, Szachacz and Godberson were presented with plaques of appreciation for their role in helping to return the torahs to the Jewish Center of Kew Garden Hills.

 



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