The Rabbinical Alliance of America — Igud HaRabbonim, representing over 950 American rabbis — expresses grave concern over four anti-Semitic attacks that occurred in the New York City area over three days.
The first incident occurred in Manhattan’s Murray Hill neighborhood on Monday, December 23, 2019, when police said a man wearing a yarmulke was violently assaulted, as reported by CBS New York. The victim said he was looking at his phone when someone started yelling anti-Semitic comments, then punching and kicking him.
Then, in the early hours of Tuesday, December 24, 2019, a group of youths shouted expletives and anti-Semitic slurs at a Jewish man walking down the street in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Crown Heights, the Shomrim neighborhood watch group told Yeshiva World News. When the man took out his phone to film the incident, one of the suspects threw a beverage and continued shouting anti-Semitic remarks.
The third incident was an assault of a Jewish man, also in Crown Heights, on Tuesday, December 24, 2019, in the afternoon. The Anti-Defamation League has offered $10,000 for information on those responsible. A suspect punched a Jewish man in the back of the head while another filmed the attack, according to the Yeshiva World News.
On December 25, 2019, an assailant entered a kosher bagel store in Teaneck, New Jersey, and verbally and physically assaulted three customers. A suspect was quickly apprehended by the local police.
Rabbi Mendy Mirocznik, executive vice-president of the Rabbinical Alliance of America, said, “It is frightening that four anti-Semitic attacks took place over two days of Chanukah, a holiday which symbolizes the victory of good over evil. Ironically, it is during Chanukah that we are sadly experiencing a rising tide of hate and anti-Semitism. These anti-Semitic hate crimes are in direct opposition to what we as Americans stand for and believe, namely freedom, liberty and respect.
“Once again, the RAA calls upon faith leaders, elected officials, community leaders and all peace-loving people to stand united together in the condemnation of hate, bigotry and ant-Semitism. We further urge clergy to use their pulpits to denounce hate, bigotry and anti-Semitism. As a nation, we must find a way to educate people who have hate in their hearts to see the error of their ways. We must know in our bones that hate against one group is hate against all of us. There is no place for hate in the United States.”
May He make peace in his Heavens make peace on earth and may all those who have hate in their hearts realize the error of their ways. May they reform their behavior and utilize their energy to make this world a better place for all people.