In a tribute to fallen Jersey City Police Det. Joseph Seals, leaders of the Orthodox Jewish community gathered in City Hall to present a $47,000 check to his family.
By Corey McDonald/Hudson County View
Dozens of leaders in the community from the New York and New Jersey area gathered with elected officials and law enforcement members to present the $47,000 check.
The money, which was raised in less than 36 hours, was collected from over 1,400 donors from across the world.
“A small but heartfelt gesture to express our communities deep and unending appreciation for those in law enforcement who put it on the line everyday for us,” said Chaskel Bennett, a local Jewish community activist.
Additionally, Bennett presented FBI Newark Office Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie with a Community Appreciation Award as a token of appreciation for their efforts in recent months.
On December 10th, Seals, a 15-year veteran with the department, was shot and killed after approaching a U-Haul van in Bayview Cemetery.
He is survived by his wife Laura and his 5 children: Hailey, Adrian, Ethan, Isabel and Ivanna; as well as his mother Deborah.
The assailants, David Anderson and Francine Graham, then proceeded to carry out a deadly attack at a Kosher Supermarket on Martin Luther King Drive, where they killed three other innocent victims — Mindy Ferencz, Moshe Deutsch, and Douglas Miguel Rodriguez – effective turning a residential neighborhood into a war zone.
In the aftermath, many have emphasized that the horrific tragedy might have been much worse were it not for the work of Seals.
Graham and Anderson were armed with five guns and hundreds of rounds of ammunition, and intended to attack a Jewish community center in Bayonne, according to federal authorities.
“When we in the broader Jewish community heard of his heroism, we felt that simply expressing our sorrow and outrage wasn’t nearly enough. After all, by all accounts, the detective likely saved Jersey City — and the Jewish community — from an even larger catastrophe,” Bennett said.
The donation was accepted by Jersey City Police Officers Benevolent Association President Carmine Disbrow. While the check was made out to the POBA, they committed to ensuring the money goes to the Seals family, who were not in attendance this morning.
“On behalf of the entire Seals family and the Jersey City police department, we thank our friends in the Jewish community,” he said.
“The Jewish community from day one… has been in constant in contact with us — asking us what we need, what the department needs, and what the family needs — so I just want to express my gratitude.”
Mayor Steven Fulop and other city officials thanked the Jewish community for their efforts as well.
“We want to say thank you for your generosity,” Fulop said. “Surely this family needs all the help that they can get: it’s going to be a long, long road ahead for them.”
Follow Corey McDonald on Twitter @cwmcdonald_