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Driving for the 4th Precinct in Hewlett to help the Five Towns ‘eyes and ears’

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Blending family, school and volunteerism Hebrew Academy of the Five Towns and Rockaway High School senior Matthew Nathan is fundraising to help the 4th Precinct auxiliary police buy a new patrol car as part of a compulsory school community service program.

“In school, different seniors take on different projects for the required community service hours,” said Nathan, a Woodmere resident. “As president of the Youth Board for Community Chest, I thought it was something actually great for the community. [The auxiliary police] serves as our eyes and ears, volunteer and keep our schools, shuls and supermarket safe for us.”

Nathan’s father, Cal, is president of Community Chest South Shore, a Five Towns-based charitable organization that aims to help other organizations, institutions and people. Nathan is one of six Youth Board presidents. The HAFTR High Chesed (kindness in Hebrew) Program is memorialized in the school’s handbook.

“We strongly believe that students grow in many ways through their engagement in community service,” HAFTR High School Principal Naomi Lippman said. “They gain an understanding of the complexity of the lives of many individuals and families in larger community and an appreciation for how they can contribute to the betterment of other people’s lives.

Nathan set up a GoFundMe page on Jan. 7 and set a goal of $10,000. More than $5,000 has been raised, he said. On the page Nathan wrote: “In a time of unprecedented Anti-Semitism, our community is consistently reliant on the services of the local Auxiliary Police to help and assist the 4th Precinct in keeping our neighborhood, synagogues , and schools safe and secure. With a strain on Nassau County resources, the Auxiliary Unit is increasingly dependent on raising private funds to support its operations.” A fully equipped patrol car typically costs roughly $35,000.

Inspector Danny Gluck, the commanding officer of the 36-member all volunteer police auxiliary unit, mentioned to his nephew that the unit, which patrols the Five Towns, Island Park, Oceanside and Pt. Lookout, was in need of new vehicles.

“I thought it was a terrific idea since it would greatly benefit our unit in helping to serve and protect our community in light of the recent events,” Gluck said. “It means a lot to us as we do not receive any funding from the county to purchase new vehicles and rely solely on contributions from the community.”

Youth Board Director Jackie Kaminer is not surprised that Nathan took on such a community-oriented fundraiser. “He is definitely a leader-like person, he brought other members to the organization, is very sweet, very respectful and naturally philanthropic,” she said.

Nathan said he is driven by contributing to the safety of the community. “Some people say it can’t happen here [the Five Towns] because we’re all Jews, but it’s happening everywhere. We have to put our best foot forward and prevent it from happening,” he said.

To donate to Nathan’s GoFundMe fundraiser, go to https://bit.ly/2QDzfTH.

Donations will always be accepted by the Nassau County Auxiliary Police Foundation. To donate, volunteer or both, contact Gluck at 516-522-5395 or dgluck@pdcn.org.

Article reflects change in amount raised.