The following was submitted by Congregation Beth Aaron:
Project THANKS is a new Thanksgiving Day initiative inaugurated by Congregation Beth Aaron, an Orthodox synagogue in Teaneck. To express thanks to the town’s brave firefighters, a Thanksgiving dinner “with all the trimmings” was provided to all firemen on duty Thanksgiving Day.
A short presentation was made to the men on duty at the main fire station. Alden Leifer, chairman of the effort, opened with some short words of thanks and then introduced Rabbi Larry Rothwachs, the spiritual leader of the congregation.
Rabbi Rothwachs commented on the extreme bravery of this relatively small group of special individuals who work tirelessly to protect the community. With the coinciding of Thanksgiving and Chanukah, the Rabbi compared the efforts of the firefighters to those of the Maccabees, a small number of brave fighters, who protected their community by standing up to the large, well-armed Syrian-Greek army which took place at the time of the story of Chanukah. The Rabbi wished the firefighters success and safety in their difficult and potentially dangerous work.
Battalion Chief Joseph Berchtold responded by expressing thanks and appreciation on behalf of all the firemen for this beautiful expression of recognition, the likes of which the Teaneck Fire Department has never experienced before.
Many of the member families of the congregation donated to this endeavor to convey their appreciation to the firemen for their bravery, courage and valor in serving the community. The meal, prepared by Ma’adan of Teaneck, included a classic Thanksgiving dinner menu with a few extras that included potato latkes and applesauce, a traditional dish served on Chanukah.