Ready for his close-up: Rabbi Judah Isaacs displays the OU Safety Belt
Concerned about safely walking home from shul in the dark after Friday night services? There is a solution for that! Orange reflective safety belts from the Orthodox Union Department of Community Engagement’s Safe Homes, Safe Schools, Safe Shuls initiative are available for purchase to make your walk home safer.
“The idea came from an effort in Teaneck, NJ, where a city councilman started distributing safety belts to help residents walk home safely on Shabbat,” said Community Engagement Director Rabbi Judah Isaacs. “There unfortunately have been incidents in which people have been either killed or severely injured by cars, especially at night when people wear dark clothes and are walking in areas with no lights, and as in some suburban areas, there are no sidewalks.”
The belts are size-adjustable and have become very popular since their release three years ago — a pleasant surprise to Hannah Farkas, OU Community Engagement’s Program Manager. “These reflective belts have proven to be a really great product. While we saw the need, we still wondered if there would be a demand — but our synagogues have been very receptive to them. There are many suburban communities that have congregants walking home without adequate lighting. We think that these are very useful items for Jewish communities to have, and we encourage everyone to take advantage of this resource.”
The end result? “We have now sold 7,000 belts and will be ordering more,” said Rabbi Isaacs.
To order online, visit http://www.ou.org/community/reflectorbelts/ to fill out the online form or call (212)613-8300. Checks can be mailed to: Orthodox Union, Attn: Community Services, 11 Broadway, 14th Floor New York, NY 10004.