To: Rabbis, Synagogue Leaders
From: Richard B. Stone, Chairman
Betty Ehrenberg, Director, International and Communal Affairs
Re: Hakarat HaTov
As you know, the OU headquarters in New York are situated about five blocks south of the World Trade Center and our building had to be closed for a few days following the terrible attack. Baruch Hashem, all the OU employees are back in the office and the departments are functioning and people are able to go about their daily work. Our proximity to Ground Zero has made us all too aware of the unimaginable difficulties faced by the New York Fire Department and the New York Police Department as they tried and continue to try to rescue and recover victims. Many of them risked their lives trying to rescue people as the attack took place and are putting in incredible hours to continue to help the people of New York City at this time of crisis.
We owe a great debt to the Police and Fire Departments and other uniformed services and it behooves us to demonstrate our Hakarat HaTov to these heroes. We request that synagogues this Shabbat invite a few representatives from their local police precinct and fire station for a few minutes so that we can tell them how deeply we appreciate what they have done. Several synagogues have informed us that they have already done so and reported that these worthy civil servants received standing ovations.
Our thoughts and prayers are with them during these difficult days and we pray that Hashem grant them the strength and courage to continue to so nobly serve the people of New York City.