NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Yom Kippur, the holiest Jewish holiday of the year, begins at sundown Tuesday.
The NYPD says anti-Semitic crimes have jumped 55% this year.
State police will coordinate with the NYPD, who will have patrol cars stationed at every synagogue until the holiday ends Wednesday night.
Some say the Jewish community needs security beyond the High Holy Days.
“We demand protection. We demand increased security. No one should have to say after a holiday or after a weekend that I have not seen a cop,” said Councilman Chaim Deutsch.
City leaders plan to meet with police this morning to share input from the community.
As many Jewish people prepared to fast for 24 hours, one soup kitchen was making sure those in need had something to eat beforehand, CBS2’s Nick Caloway reports.
Alexander Rapaport is with the Masbia Soup Kitchen, which operates three kosher soup kitchens year-round. One is in Borough Park.
“That meal we’re serving here today in a very traditional way with a lot of Jewish traditional foods,” Rapaport said. “We’re trying to make sure that even needy New Yorkers have a dignified pre-fast meal and after-fast meal.”
As Yom Kippur approaches, the hours at the soup kitchen change to accommodate a pre-fast meal right before sundown, whether they’re Jewish or not.
“So we try to have a meal early today and it’s specially decorated with tablecloths. It’s nicer than a regular dinner here,” Rapaport said.
Diners were also entertained by Yom Kippur melodies from the Cantor at Lincoln Square Synagogue.
“We’re here to make the world a better place. This is a soup kitchen, and I’m just trying to give these people a taste of what’s to come tomorrow,” Yaakov Lemmer said.
For those who work and volunteer at the kitchen, Yom Kippur is about so much more than fasting. It’s about repentance, forgiveness and atonement.
“Really what god wants from us is not the fasting and not to inflict ourselves, it’s the kindness to come out, it’s the sharing to come out,” Rapaport said.
The soup kitchen will be open again promptly at 8 p.m. Wednesday as the fast is ending.