December was supposed to be filled with joy as people celebrated Christmas, Hanukah and Kwanza, yet this past month, violence and anti-Semitism ravaged the tri-state area.
There was the shooting in Jersey City that targeted Jews, the horrific stabbing in Monsey on Hanukah and during the week of December 22, there were six anti-Semitic incidents in Brooklyn where Jews were assaulted or harassed.
In fact, anti-Semitic crimes have increased 21 percent this past year and according to the Anti-Defamation League; there were 1,879 incidents of anti-Semitism in the United States in 2018, including more than 1,000 instances of harassment.
While the Bronx is not heavily Jewish, I am. Now maybe the incidents in Brooklyn were isolated to those communities, but that does not excuse the hateful acts that occurred.
Furthermore, to watch people get gunned down in Jersey City where friends of mine live and brutally stabbed in Monsey is disturbing.
This type of hate needs to stop. I am 34 and have seen enough of this.
No one should have to live in fear that they could be attacked because of their ethnicity, race, gender or religion.
Rabbi Saadia Pewzner of the Bronx Jewish Center at 1969 Haight Avenue told the Bronx Times that anti-Semitism has continued to grow because people have become accustomed to it.
Pewzner, whose daughter attends school in Monsey, said he feels safe in the Bronx, but stressed that things must change. People shouldn’t have to worry about being attacked because they are Jewish, he said.
There’s no rhyme or reason or justification for hate,” the rabbi said. “It’s occurring lately because we’re failing to stop it.
Pewzner explained that he is looking to upgrade security measures at his shul and is in constant contact with police.
The rabbi pointed out that anti- Semitism isn’t just violence. In early December, a Brooklyn resident filed an anti-Semitic complaint with the NYC Department of Buildings. It said, “The elevator in my building has not operated for the past month. The landlord is Jewish and too cheap to fix it.”