In recognition of the 21st anniversary of 9/11, Jewish National Fund-USA partnered with Temple Sinai to honor local first responders during the synagogue’s Friday evening services on September 9, 2022. Honorees included former Temple Sinai president and active police officer Bob Steine; Chief Dan Oates from the Aurora Police Department, who was a first responder at the Aurora theater shooting of July 2012; Chief Randy Repola from the University of Colorado Denver Police Department; and Temple Sinai security guards Joe Sanders and Tim Mossbrucker. The event also honored the Denver Fire Department and Denver Police Department.
Rabbi Rick Rheins; Steine; Brynn Tully, Jewish National Fund-USA’s Israel Programs Admissions Director in the region; and Chiefs Repola and Oates provided remarks at the event.
On September 11, 2001, Chief Oates was one week into his new job as the Chief of Ann Arbor when the terrorist attacks occurred, after having recently retired from the NYPD. Oates recounted an emotional story about one of his good friends who died at the Twin Towers. “I always tell the story of Tony as an example of loss, and how there were many wonderful souls who were lost that day, and among them so many first responders,” he said. “I knew nine people who died that day who were members of my department.”
Tully presented the honorees with a JNF-USA Tree Certificate stating a tree had been planted in Israel in honor of their service, as well as a plaque featuring Jewish National Fund-USA’s and KKL-JNF’s 9/11 Living Memorial in Jerusalem. The memorial is the only commemorative site of its type outside of the U.S. that lists all the names of those who were killed on 9/11. Established in 2009, the monument is a testament to the deep connection between the State of Israel and the U.S., and our countries’ shared values of peace, religious tolerance, democracy, and fighting terrorism.
For more information about Jewish National Fund-USA’s Israel and educational programs, contact Brynn Tully at 303-573-7095 x979 or BTully@jnf.org.