BROOKLYN (CHABAD.org/By Yaakov Ort) – Thousands of rabbis paid tribute Sunday to one of New York’s finest, the late Deputy Chief Charles M. Scholl, chief of patrol of Brooklyn South precinct—a beloved and important fixture for almost a decade—at the International Conference of Chabad-Lubavitch Emissaries. Chief Scholl passed away this summer at the age of 64.
Responsible for the safety of New Yorkers in eleven different neighborhoods of New York over a 41-year career, Chief Scholl supervised the setup, safety and security at the convention’s annual photo shoot since 2014, when he moved to the 60th precinct.
It was a responsibility he cherished.
Each year, Chief Scholl would enthusiastically welcome on behalf of the city the thousands of rabbis gathered in front of Chabad-Lubavitch World Headquarters at 770 Eastern Parkway for their annual photo. And each year, he would take part in a light-hearted tradition when he and Rabbi Shimon Lazaroff, regional director of Chabad-Lubavitch of Texas, would exchange hats.
“There wasn’t a bigger smile in the crowd than on the chief’s face, with him smiling from ear to ear,” recalled Lt. Ira Jablonsky of the New York City Police Department. “It was so radiant that it would light up the whole picture.”
“Chief Scholl and Rabbi Lazaroff were true friends with a true connection,” Jablonsky continued. “Two good human beings participating in an event full of good people trying to do right for their communities. Chief Scholl really appreciated that and connected with it. It was apparent in his warm feelings towards the event, and warm relationship with Rabbi Lazaroff and all the shluchim he encountered. It really personified Chief Scholl and his 41 years of service to the community.”
As thousands of rabbis were assembling for the 2022 group photo, Rabbi Lazaroff recalled the bond the two had formed over years. “I was connected with him because he was connected with me,” said the rabbi. “He liked my smile, and I liked his smile.”
But It was not so much the hats,” the rabbi continued, but the message that the Rebbe—[Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory]—loved every person no matter what hat he wears, regardless of his origins, because the human being in him is the perfect and precious thing. That’s what Chabad and Rebbe are all about, and that was the connection.
“Chief Scholl was a fine human being with a great sense of humor,” observed Rabbi Lazaroff. ”It’s not about the hat itself but the person underneath the hat. That made the connection.”