When a plane full of passengers from Eretz Yisroel arrived just before Shabbos, Askonim were ready, and went into overdrive mode to get the passengers home for Shabbos.
The plane, chartered with approximately 287 passengers, was supposed to arrive Thursday evening, but due to security issues was delayed, and was scheduled to arrive just before the Zman – approximately 5:00 PM.
Askonim from Brooklyn and Lakewood mobilized.
Coordinating the efforts in Brooklyn, were Rabbi Dave Haber, Rabbi Raphael Netanal and Rabbi Raymon Sulton, Director of the Sefardic Heritage Museum, who also underwrote the flight costs.
Coordinating in the Lakewood area, were Meir Lichtenstein, Lakewood Police Captain LeRoy Marshall, and Lakewood Police Community Affairs Liaison Ben Inzelbuch.
The Askonim immediately coordinated with customs to open multiple lanes, and ordered buses to quickly bus passengers as soon as they got off the plane. Then, Askonim contacted their contact in the Port Authority to ensure the passengers can get off the plane immediately after landing, and rush them through security and onto the waiting buses.
“Whatever you need, you are getting,” Lt. Gyson of the Port Authority told Lakewood Police Community Affairs Liaison Ben Inzelbuch, who traveled to Newark Airport together with Sgt. Frank Work, Ptl. Jason Yahr, Ptl. Mark Gibbson, Traffic Safety officer David Marcado and Ptl. David Soriano to handle the Lakewood passengers. Back in Lakewood, Captain LeRoy Marshall – who cancelled a planned trip to remain in Lakewood – was in town coordinating patrols, as well as operations for this special detail.
As soon as the plane touched down, the officers were escorted onto the plane so they can make the necessary announcements to the passengers.
Liaison Inzelbuch made an announcement on the plane, notifying the passengers that all has been arranged, and that they should follow instructions of the Lakewood and Port Authority officers.
Approximately 30 minutes later, the passengers – approximately 40 from the Lakewood area – were processed through customs and on buses.
When the Lakewood area passengers arrived back home shortly after Shkiah, the Lakewood police officers helped them off the bus, and brought their carry-on luggage on Muktzah items into their homes for them.
“The efforts by our Lakewood officers were incredible and we’re lucky to have such a department,” said Inzelbuch. “They are always there for us to step up to the plate at a moments notice.”
Inzelbuch added, “on behalf of the Lakewood Police Department and all the passengers, I want to give a tremendous shutout to Lt. Gyson and his crew at the Port Authority for ensuring the process went as smooth as possible during these challenging times.”