Congregation Etz Chaim will honor police Maj. Jerry Quan during its annual gala at 6 p.m. Sunday, May 6, at the East Cobb synagogue.

Quan, the retired commander of the Cobb County police precinct covering Etz Chaim, as well as Temple Kol Emeth and Chabad of Cobb, has provided security at Etz Chaim on Shabbat and other occasions the past 17 years.

Etz Chaim President Allison Saffran called Quan “an integral part of this East Cobb community” and said he has worked with the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta and local government to ensure the congregation has the most current security and resources.

“Jerry asks us to call him any time we think there might be a problem, and he always responds immediately,” she said.

Tickets to the gala are $250 for people over 40 and $100 for those 40 and younger. Visit etzchaim.net/celebrate2018, or call 770-973-0137.

“You can say that my son, Zev, is Jerry’s biggest fan,” Rabbi Daniel Dorsch said. “He not only keeps us safe, but sometimes double duties as the rabbi’s son’s baby-sitter. When Zev tells us routinely he wants to be a policeman, we know it’s because of Jerry’s positive connection.”

Quan, a Jacksonville, Fla., native and Marine Corps veteran, has lived in Covv County since 1965 and served with the Cobb County Police Department from 1989 until his recent retirement. He plans to become a school resource officer and spend more time with his wife, Lydia; and their children, Jenny and Ryan.

“Jerry isn’t just a wonderful shomer (someone who watches over and protects); he is a part of our community,” Rabbi Shalom Lewis said. “Being there every Saturday, he’s gotten to know the congregants. One of the congregants’ son was getting married, and Jerry flew out to California to attend the wedding.”

“Jerry is always so considerate of our customs,” said Bob Bachrach, a former Etz Chaim president and executive director. “When Jerry chose to wear a kippah every Saturday out of respect, one of the congregants gave him a kippah that was inscribed just for him. This meant a great deal to Jerry.”

“Jerry is one of a kind,” said Janis Greenfield, a longtime Etz Chaim congregant. “From happily greeting all of the children that arrive at religious school to calling his fellow officers to check on the status of a congregant’s car accident, from showing the teens that the police are our friends who are here to protect us to picking up a child who slipped and wiping up the water to make sure no one else slips, we share with Jerry a positive combination of mutual respect and warmth.”

“He has been part of our fabric,” Executive Director Marty Gilbert said. “He has watched leadership change, new members join, and children grow and become members themselves. Through all these years he has been a warm and steady presence. We wish only good things as he enters this new phase of his life.”