A rabbi, his wife and nine children were in the middle of their Sabbath dinner last week when vandals shattered a plate glass window of their Chabad House in Bushwick, Brooklyn
By: Gordon Katzenstein
A rabbi, his wife and nine children were in the middle of their Sabbath dinner last week when vandals shattered a plate glass window of their Chabad House in Bushwick, Brooklyn.
Following the attack, Rabbi Menachem Heller reportedly crossed the street and – respecting Shabbat restrictions — asked neighbors to call 911. He eventually hailed a police car and told officers what had happened. Tow suspects had been seen walking away from the synagogue.
Heller turned to Facebook to address the rise in frequency of hate crime and attacks against Jews in New York. He called for the public to take a stand against it, noting, “We acknowledge the disturbing and increasingly frequent incidents of hate and prejudice in our New York community and its destructive and divisive effects, especially on young people. We encourage each other and the public to stand up against it, whenever it occurs, whatever form it takes, and towards whomever it is directed. An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us.”
According to statistics from the NYPD, antisemitism was a major factor behind a jump in hate crimes in New York City in 2018. The department said it recorded 352 hate crimes last year, up about 6 percent from 331 in 2017.
Jews have been targeted in more than half those incidents, officials said. There were 183 anti-Semitic hate crimes, a 22 percent increase from the year before and a 38.6 percent increase from around the same time in 2016, NYPD figures show.
As Patch.com reported, among 2018’s hate-fueled crimes “was a spate of anti-Semitic incidents in New York City that followed the shooting to death of 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue by a lone gunman who said he wanted to kill Jews. The Oct. 27 massacre “opened up people even more to act out on these feelings,” said Evan R. Bernstein, the Anti-Defamation League’s regional director for New York and New Jersey. “I think for certain people it gave them (a) green light and that’s what is so concerning.
The Anti-Defamation League recorded a 60 percent increase in anti-Semitic assaults in 2018, Bernstein said. “Several have occurred in Brooklyn, where two Hasidic people were attacked within about a block of each other in Williamsburg one week in late November,” noted the web site. “There has also been a recent “normalization” of anti-Semitic vandalism, a harmful crime that’s often difficult for police to solve, Bernstein said.”
Last week, the ADL called on the leadership of the House of Representatives in Washington, DC, to take action in response to Rep. Ilhan Omar’s statements yesterday suggesting that Jewish influence and money was the reason for strong bipartisan support for Israel.