25 November 2006

Life in Israel – Another Police Volunteer Goes on the Long Patrol


Copyright © R. Kossover, November 2006

You never know who you will meet in the small world that is the Jewish community. Appearances are very deceiving. An old man, or someone who looks like an old man, may be a treasure trove or a genius. I have met several people like this as a police volunteer who are members of our unit. I originally met Alan Novins on a bus traveling to the Russian Compound, which is where the Israel Police is headquartered in Jerusalem. He was tall, white haired with a thoughtful and intelligent face. How intelligent the mind behind the face really was disclosed itself over time.

Alan Novins grew up in New England, went to top flight universities in the United States, involved himself in politics, and became an influential lawyer. He retired to Israel where he chose to volunteer in the unit I serve in. When I first entered the unit four years ago, he wore sergeant’s stripes on his uniform. He was the fellow you went to when you needed an addition to the uniform; he went along on target practices and gun training, assisting with such tasks as making sure everyone who was supposed to be there was there, making sure that each person’s score was recorded, things of this nature. As he acquired higher rank, first becoming a first sergeant, and then a second lieutenant, his tasks increased, and his quiet way with people smoothed many issues along and got things done. Every unit needs a competent administration officer who gets the business of the unit done, and Alan’s lawyering skills made him an excellent administration officer. He dealt with all things administrative; payroll, information management, uniforms supply and the like.

Last year in the autumn of 2005 he took a trip with his wife, Nancy, around the world. He went to Russia, to Mongolia, Tibet, to China, to Japan eventually returning home to Israel filled with adventures, stories of yurts, gardens and mountains. It was the trip of a lifetime.

His stories stimulated a great deal of conversation in the unit. One of our unit members is a fellow who had been stationed in Afghanistan a number of years ago, and he shared his own tales of a country at relative peace. Provincial ignoramuses like me learn a great deal from all of these discussions, which took place while weapons were issued to members before going on patrol.

This autumn, Second Lieutenant Alan S. Novins of the Unit of Volunteer Police took ill. He had been in hospital for a number of weeks with myeloma, and his condition did not improve with time. This last Thursday, he was dispatched by the Executive Field Officer of the Universe to the Long Patrol. We do not know how long the assignment is but have faith that we shall see Second Lieutenant Novins again soon upon the t’Hiyát haMetím, (the rising of the dead upon the coming of the messiah)..

ברוך דיין אמת
barúkh dayán emét,
Blessed is the True Judge

Second Sergeant, Reuven Kossover,
the Unit of Volunteer Police


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