What is it like being an observant Jew on the police force in Las Vegas, Nevada?
It is certainly interesting and unique to say the least! Working as a police officer can be very challenging, especially the mental. The job is inherently negative- i.e. usually when the police are around, it doesn’t mean good things are going on. My spirituality and trust in Hashem are the two main factors that assist me with being a successful police officer (and in life in general).
Were you in the police force when you became observant?
I have worked as a police officer for over 12 years now with about 6 years of it being observant. It was difficult at times to make the transition to an observant life both at home and at work but the rewards of doing so are beyond words. I truly feel that my life is so much better since. I think the fact that I had the opportunity to see both sides of living life as both secular and now non-secular, it helps me relate to more people…especially those that are considering becoming more observant.
What is the Las Vegas Jewish community like?
The Las Vegas community is wonderful and one that I am proud to be a part of. We have over 20 shuls of all denominations and several kosher restaurants. My wife and I jokingly say that we come from a mixed marriage (my Rabbi is Chabad and hers is Young Israel/Aish HaTorah). This has allowed us to really get to know many of the families and congregations in Las Vegas and contrary to what many people believe, there is flourishing Jewish life away from the Las Vegas strip here!
What piece of advice can you give us Boulder Jews?
My best piece of advice is actually two separate thoughts. First, be proud of who you are, especially as a Jew! The second is always know that you can do ANYTHING…you just have to WANT to! I challenge the Boulder Jewish community to not only find the want in themselves, but help find the want in others!
Hear the Kosher Cop on Sunday, January 17 at 2 pm at Lubavitch of Boulder County, 4900 Sioux Drive, Boulder. Feel free to bring your family for a great program. The Torah dedication and Hakafot will be from 2-3:15 pm and the Kosher Cop follows that.