As related to you on the telephone this morning, I note that the media has failed to mention that the first community facility which opened its doors to our affected Belle Harbor residents was Congregation Ohab Zedek a/k/a the Jewish Community Center of Belle Harbor located at 135th Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard.
I personally witnessed the airplane as it descended nose first toward the ground. I started running to the scene of the tragedy at Beach 131st and in route I came across our Rabbi, Rabbi D. Jacob Reiner, who was driving and had not yet become aware of the tragedy. He asked that I join him in his car and we both drove to the scene. Rabbi Reiner immediately ordered the synagogue open to the community, that coffee, tea, and other refreshments be prepared and that a list be prepared so that missing persons could perhaps be located.
As a member of the Belle Harbor community and a member of Congregation Ohab Zedek, I am proud of the response of our community to the terrible tragedy that occurred with the crash of Flight 587. I hope we can always maintain a sense of community and brotherhood that exists in Belle Harbor.