JCRC, Minneapolis and St. Paul Jewish Federations Outraged by Series of Attacks on Jews in New York

December 29, 2019 — 2:00 PM

Minneapolis/ St. Paul, MN – Steve Hunegs, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC); James Cohen, CEO of the Minneapolis Jewish Federation; and Ted Flaum, CEO of the St. Paul Jewish Federation issued the following statement:

“The Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC), Minneapolis Jewish Federation, and St. Paul Jewish Federation are outraged by yet another violent attack on Orthodox Jews. Following the gruesome acts of violence in Pittsburgh, Poway, and Jersey City, last night, as over 100 people were gathered for a Hanukkah celebration at a rabbi’s home in Monsey, New York, a man with a machete entered the home and stabbed five people. According to the Anti-Defamation League, this is the tenth antisemitic incident in the New York-New Jersey area this week alone.

“Antisemitic attacks and incidents have increased over the past few years. This uptick has been particularly pernicious for visibly Jewish people in New York. We are committed to continuing our work on a range of community security practices and initiatives in close partnership with the Orthodox communities of Minnesota and the Dakotas. 

“The JCRC continues to communicate with local, state, and federal law enforcement as it pertains to Jewish and other vulnerable communities in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota. The JCRC will continue to update local Jewish organizations with information about this incident and fulfill its mission of organizing and enhancing Jewish community security. Additionally, our Federations are in touch with the Jewish Federation and Foundation of Rockland County (NY) and have offered any assistance or support which may be needed.

“We thank law enforcement for their swift and brave responses to these heinous attacks. We call on government, law enforcement, and community leaders to work to understand why this spate of attacks is happening and what can be done to stop it. We also recognize that policing alone will not solve this crisis and that potential responses must consider and prioritize the safety and inclusion of all Jews.

“In Jewish tradition, we light our hanukkiot near the windows of our homes to spread light into the world and share the miracle of Hanukkah with our neighbors. We pray that tonight, when the hanukkiah is fully lit with all eight candles, Jewish families around the world celebrate in peace and security, showing the world that hate will not intimidate or silence us.”

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As the public affairs voice of the Jewish community since 1939, the JCRC fights antisemitism and prejudice, advocates for Israel, provides Holocaust education, promotes tolerance and social justice, and builds bridges across the Jewish and broader communities

Photo: Police outside the home of Rabbi Chaim Rottenberg, where a man stabbed and wounded five people as they were gathering to light candles for Hanukkah, in Monsey, N.Y., Dec. 28, 2019. A suspect was arrested in Harlem and turned over to the authorities in Rockland County, the New York Police Department said. (MOHAMED SADEK / NEW YORK TIMES)