In recognition of the 21st anniversary of 9/11, Highland Park leaders and students honored security and safety officials as part of nationwide ceremonies organized by Jewish National Fund-USA.

On Friday, September 9, students from Solomon Schechter Day School honored their school security officers in a ceremony attended by over 200 students. Also in attendance was the Midwest Israeli Consulate’s Consul for Political & Commercial Affairs, Itai Biran, who, along with the students and Jewish National Fund-USA professional Michelle Miller, presented a plaque to the security officers.

Michelle Miller; Ghita Neukirch, Highland Park City Manager; Joe Schrage, Highland Park Fire Chief; Nancy Rotering, Highland Park Mayor; Bill Bonaguidi, Deputy Police Chief; Annette Lidawer, Highland Park City Council; and
Yinam Cohen, Consulate General of Israel Midwest

“I’ve been working in the Jewish community for over 12 years, and I’ve never felt more welcome and appreciated than when I’m here,” said Anthony Anderson, Head Security Officer for Solomon Schechter. “It is an honor and a pleasure serving the community.”

“One of the stark realizations we had after the tragedy of September 11 was that too often, we took our security for granted,” added Jewish National Fund-USA Illinois Board Member, Mike Gold, who attended the ceremony with his son Corey. “That is why, in addition to memorializing the fallen, we use this day to honor the service of those who protect us and our loved ones every day.”

In addition, a ceremony on Monday, September 12 featured Miller, along with the Mayor and City Manager of Highland Park and Israeli Consul General to the Midwest, Yinam Cohen, presenting plaques to the Highland Park Fire Chief, Joe Schrage and Deputy Police Chief, Bill Bonaguidi to recognize their service to the city. The plaque acknowledged the immense impact made by first responders while highlighting the organization’s unique 9/11 memorial located in Jerusalem, Israel.

In a statement, Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering said: “Thank you to Jewish National Fund-USA and Mr. Consul General for recognizing the incredible work of so many courageous individuals. We appreciate the bravery of those who run towards danger, whether in New York, Highland Park, or Sderot. We are grateful for their courage and willingness to put themselves at risk to save lives, especially in times of crisis.”

Jewish National Fund-USA’s 9/11 Memorial is the only commemorative site of its type outside of the U.S. that lists all the names of those who perished on 9/11. The organization hosted a national 9/11 memorial ceremony at the site, attended by U.S Marines, the U.S. Ambassador to Israel, Israeli firefighters, police officers, and diplomats from around the world, and was broadcast via JNF-USA’s Facebook page.

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Jewish National Fund-USA
JNF-USA is the leading philanthropic organization for Israel that supports critical environmental and nation-building activities in Israel’s north and south. Through its One Billion Dollar Roadmap for the Next Decade, JNF-USA is developing new communities in the Galilee and Negev, connecting the next generation to Israel, and creating infrastructure and programs that support ecology, individuals with special needs, and heritage site preservation.
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