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Temporary fix helps Jewish community feel safer crossing busy street

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Updated: 9/20/2013 8:54 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. --  A week after a local mother was killed while crossing San Jose Boulevard, a new safety measure is in effect to prevent similar tragedies from happening.

The Florida Highway Patrol is helping many Jewish families get across San Jose Boulevard on Fridays and Saturdays.

Many who practice the Jewish faith were seen crossing San Jose Boulevard on Friday as they made their way to and from  Etz Chaim Synagogue to observe the holiday Sukkot.

Starting at sundown on Friday through sundown Saturday, Jews who observe the Sabbath are not allowed to activate electronic devices. FHP troopers have been activating the crosswalk signal for pedestrians while helping direct traffic.

Jewish families who cross the busy intersection at Haley Road thanked the officers as they made their way to the other side of the street.

The tragic death of 57-year-old Esther Ohayon caused outrage in the community and started a push to make crossing San Jose Boulevard safer for pedestrians.

"I said somebody needs to do something about this," said Laura Singh, resident.

Singh has lived in Mandarin for the past 14 years.

"I think it's a wonderful idea," said Singh.

Many neighbors agree the change is long over due not just for the Jewish community but for every pedestrian.

"Sometimes it takes something like this to make us see we need to do something," said Eva Henry, resident.

Rabbi Yaakov Fisch told Action News the new patrols are a good first step but he says there is still more work to be done to come up with a permanent solution.

FHP troopers will be posted at the intersection of Haley and San Jose on a temporary basis on Fridays and Saturdays from 12-2 p.m. and again from 7:15-9:30 p.m.

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Realchange - 9/21/2013 4:02 AM
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IF they can't do work or activate electronic devices as part of their faith then they should stay home maybe? Maybe take up a bus driver collection for some gentile to pick them up ? Stationing a high way trooper for this seems more like servicing the needs of a select few people who consider themselves better than rest of society. We don't follow your rules you must follow ours or else type mentality. I am pretty sure God did not intend people to be so lazy on the Sabbath as to cause their own deaths through failure to push a button. The God we read about does not condone senseless death for something so trivial as not pressing a button on the Sabbath or you won't enter into Heaven. These people are taking to extreme the Sabbath commandment far beyond what God intended.
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