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Amid Rising Anti-Semitism in NY, Jewish Leaders Ask for More Police Protection

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Borough Park Councilman Kalman Yeger. Photo Credit: council.nyc.gov

By Hellen Zaboulani

Jewish leaders throughout the five boroughs are putting their foot down, demanding more police officers guard Jewish Centers as Yom Kippur approaches.  “Enough is enough,” said city Councilman Chaim Deutsch, who represents southern Brooklyn, and the Orthodox Jewish Midwood community. “If they have to bring in 200 cops to patrol our streets to show their visibility, that’s what has to be done.” 

As per the NY Post, this year, we have seen a spike in anti-Semitic crimes throughout New York City, in comparison to 2018.  There were 161 hate crimes targeting Jews reported between Jan. 1 and Sept. 29. That’s a 50 percent increase over last year, when there were 105 incidents during the same period, as per NYPD statistics.

Last week alone there were two anti-Semitic crimes reported.  In Williamsburg, Brooklyn, a synagogue’s window was smashed by two people who threw a metal milk crate and metal mailbox at it during broad daylight, as per surveillance video.  Also, in the borough’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood, a Jewish woman’s headscarf and wig were yanked off while she walked with her children. The offense was also caught on camera. Following the attacks, Mayor Bill de Blasio took to Twitter, vowing, “We WILL find the perpetrators and hold them responsible.” The NYPD has said that they still have not made any arrest in the first case, and that second one was never actually reported to them.

Councilman Deutsch, Borough Park Councilman Kalman Yeger, Flatbush Jewish Community Council co-founder Chaskal Bennett and other Jewish leaders planned to meet Monday afternoon to pinpoint security gaps that need to be addressed for this holy day.  “There is no community in New York City that appreciates and values the Police Department more than the orthodox Jewish community,” said Bennett. But “we feel that our community is vulnerable and has been subject to an alarming increase in hate crimes. That feeling must be met with the full force and protection of the NYPD.”

“The NYPD has the largest Hate Crime Task Force in the country comprised of the best hate crime investigators,’’ a department spokeswoman said in a statement on Sunday.  “During the High Holy Days, there will continue to be an increased police presence — both seen and unseen — around synagogues and Jewish cultural centers to ensure individuals can practice their faith safely, freely and openly.”

Governor Andrew Cuomo also made a statement before Rosh Hashanah.  “Out of an abundance of caution and following a number of appalling anti-Semitic incidents over the past year I am directing the State Police to increase patrols at synagogues and other religious centers across our state,” Cuomo said.  “We will not allow the cowards who contributed to the recent rash of hateful acts against the Jewish community and other groups to intimidate or divide us.”

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. IRV

    10/09/2019 at 12:14 am

    MORE POLICE ARE WHAT NEEDED ALL YEAR ROUND LIKE THEY DO IN ISRAEL, AT ALL SYNAGOGUES.
    ABOUT TIME LIBERAL POLITICIANS WOKEUP.
    NEW YORKERS CAN LEARN FROM ISRAEL HOW TO PROTECT THEIR CITIZENS.

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