Temple Emanu-El of Long Beach will be hosting a special Shabbat for first responders


The Temple Emanu-El of Long Beach will be hosting a special Shabbat service in honor of first responders on June 7.

The congregation occasionally does various services, events and programs acknowledging and showing their appreciation of those who positively impact the Long Beach community. On March 15, they held a law enforcement appreciation Shabbat where they honored the Long Beach Auxiliary Police and Long Beach Police Department, which Rabbi Jack Zanerhaft of Long Beach’s Temple Emanu-El said was well-received by the officers in attendance.

“We’re acutely aware of our public servants,” Zanerhaft said. “This time in history is very precarious and we’re very sensitive to what’s going on with antisemitism in this divisive, violent world. We’re very appreciative of those who serve and protect us, and we wanted to reach out and invite firefighters, EMTs, dispatchers — those who look out for all of our citizens every day — to let them know that we think about and pray for them, and we’re thankful for them.”

Adding that it’s “tough to be a police officer these days,” Zanerhaft said, “the public has different viewpoints of our women and men in uniform, so we saw how grateful and appreciative they were that this segment of the community thinks about them. And so we thought, ‘Who else can we acknowledge in the same way?’”

The event will fold into the temple’s typical Friday night Shabbat service and a blessing for first responders will be included in addition to the regular prayers.

“The goal is really to spread awareness, to make our congregants and the community aware that there are everyday people, these unsung heroes, and that we appreciate and we’re grateful for what they do,” Zanerhaft said. “That’s the inspiration and motivation for this particular Shabbat.”

The Long Beach community is invited to attend and offer their appreciation at the Shabbat service taking place at 7:30 p.m. at the synagogue at 455 Neptune Blvd. There will be a dessert reception following the service.