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CB 8 to hold burning stations for Passover holiday

By Madina Toure

Starting this Friday, the first day of Passover, the 107th Precinct will have dedicated patrols driving around the precinct area, which primarily covers Fresh Meadows, Cunningham Heights, Hilltop Village, Electchester and Pomonok, according to the precinct’s captain, Paul Valerga.

The officers will be doing random stops at houses of worship at irregular times and actions will be taken accordingly in the event of any terrorist threats or other criminal actions, Valerga said.

“They do their own investigations, they do their own visits, they do their own observations,” he said.

The NYPD recently held its annual pre-Passover briefing, led by NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton.

The department will deploy additional resources such as “Hercules” patrols by heavily armed officers to synagogues, Jewish neighborhoods and other sensitive locations during Passover.

The department will also deploy foot posts, visits by officers to synagogues, outreach by community affairs officers, an increased presence of anti-crime units to prevent theft and patrols by special “house of worship” cars.

Queens Community Board 8 will also be hosting chametz burning stations in conjunction with the Fire Department and the city Department of Sanitation April 3, according to Marie Adam-Ovide, CB 8’s district manager. The burning stations will run April 3 from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m.

The morning before Passover, chametz — food products made from wheat, rye, oats, barley spelt or derivatives that have risen — can be eaten until the fourth hour of the day, according to Chabad.org, a website that publishes information about Judaism.

Individuals can only eat foods that are kosher for Passover, following that time. All the chametz is symbolically burnt before the fifth hour the morning of Passover.

The stations will be held at the Torah Center at 171-05 Jewel Ave. in Hillcrest, Young Israel of Kew Gardens Hills at 70-11 150th St. in Kew Gardens Hills, Young Israel of Jamaica Estates at 83-10 188th St. in Jamaica Estates and Young Israel of Queens Valley at 141-55 77th Ave. in Flushing.

There will be four large bins in which residents can put their garbage left over from the burning of the chametz, which will be picked up by sanitation workers at around 11:30 a.m.

Reach reporter Madina Toure by e-mail at mtoure@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4566.

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