JERSEY CITY, N.J. — The Orthodox Jewish community came together in Jersey City today to present almost $47,000 to the family of Detective Joseph Seals, who was fatally shot on Dec. 10 by two attackers on their way to ambush a kosher deli.
"Today is a solemn day," said Chaskel Bennett, co-founder of the Flatbush Jewish Community Coalition. "Also a day of renewal."
He called the killing of Detective Joseph Seals an assassination.
In the 36 hours after his death, and the deaths of 3 others inside a kosher market, more than 1,400 Jews from across the globe made donations in memory of Detective Seals.
"A police officer was murdered!" exclaimed Bennett. "That police officer most likely stopped a catastrophe of epic proportions."
Next door to the kosher deli is a yeshiva filled with dozens of children.
"Words cannot describe what I felt that day as a father with 2 children in lockdown under fire," said Jersey City resident Chesky Deutsch.
They thanked police officers and Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop for their outreach and added protection following the attack, which prompted some to question if the shooters were motivated by tensions within the community.
"If you lived in Jersey City you knew that wasn't true," said Fulop. "Those actions on Dec. 10 by those two individuals didn't represent the feelings of the African American community."
A new study released Tuesday by WalletHub named Jersey City the most diverse city in the nation. The mayor proudly touted this title, as he quashed the idea of any divisiveness in the Greenville section of the city between the African American and Orthodox Jewish communities.
"We need each other," said Councilwoman Denise Ridley.