Statement on Antisemitic Violence in New York and New Jersey

The Toronto Board of Rabbis is alarmed at the wave of violent antisemitic acts in the greater New York area.  For the past few months Hasidic Jews in Brooklyn have been subject to numerous unprovoked attacks and only a few weeks ago four people lost their lives in Jersey City. Just this past weekend a rabbi’s home in Monsey was invaded during a Hanukkah party and five people were stabbed, one of whom is still in critical condition.  Ultra-Orthodox Jews were the targets in all these incidents.

We pray for a refuah shleimah for all who have been injured in these attacks.  We mourn those whose lives were cut short by these evil acts of hatred. We praise the community members who had the presence of mind to protect themselves and those in their care. We are grateful for the police response in Jersey City that prevented further tragedy. We laud the decision made by officials to increase police presence in the affected Brooklyn neighborhoods and throughout New York City.

As we conclude Hanukkah, we know that the light and spirit of our people will never be diminished, in spite of what has taken place. Kol yisrael arevim zeh bazeh, all Jews are responsible for each other.  We stand with the Jews of Brooklyn, Jersey City and Monsey.  We call on our colleagues in the US to reach out to officials and community leaders to work together to end the troubling resurgence of Antisemitism.  May the words that  George Washington, first president of the United States, wrote to the members of the Touro Synagogue ring true again “May the children of the stock of Abraham who dwell in this land continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other inhabitants—while every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree and there shall be none to make him afraid.”

Rabbi David Seed,

President

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