JCRC Statement on Antisemitic Violence in New York Area
Monday, December 30, 2019
The Indianapolis Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) is outraged by the recent wave of violent attacks predominantly against the Orthodox Jewish community in and around the boroughs of New York City and various suburbs in New York and New Jersey. This string of horrific antisemitic attacks includes the targeted shooting at a kosher bodega in Jersey City, NJ killing four (including two Jewish patrons, one employee, and one local law enforcement officer), over a dozen incidents of physical and verbal attacks against Orthodox Jews as they walk the streets, and this weekend’s stabbing of five Jews as families came together to celebrate Hanukkah at the home of their rabbi in Monsey, NY. We mourn the tragic loss of life and pray for the recovery of all who were injured in these attacks.
Antisemitism is real and dangerous. It begins with the rhetoric of fear and conspiracy, directly fuels acts of hatred, and leads to violence and death. JCRC urges all Hoosiers to understand that these recent attacks are additional evidence of the hostility and violence that the Jewish community is currently confronting every day in our country, and around the world.
The Jewish community refuses to let attacks against us become normalized, or become numb to being victimized for our identity. Antisemitism is not only a problem for American Jews, it is a direct rejection of core American values of pluralism and liberty. While the Jewish community works to inform, empower, and protect ourselves, we implore all Hoosiers to recognize that preventing antisemitic violence is a collective responsibility.
JCRC has several programs aimed at fighting antisemitism, which are described on our website [www.indyjcrc.org/combatting-antisemitism]. We help members of the community learn how to confront antisemitism in all its forms, we partner with schools to help youth learn how to be allies and understand the dangers of unchecked bigotry and extremism, and we offer teachers accurate curricular materials to support their teaching about Jews and Jewish history.
But we cannot do this work alone.
We urge our neighbors, civic, faith, and intergroup leaders to stand up and speak out – every time – when there’s an expression of antisemitism, whether in word or deed. We call on educators to partner with us. We need our elected officials at all levels of government to not only publicly decry antisemitism, but also help us implement effective solutions. And we appreciate and look forward to working even more closely with local law enforcement to implement best security practices in and around our institutions and synagogues.
This is a moment that demands attention and action on many fronts. The JCRC looks forward to strengthening our partnerships and expanding our relationships with central Indiana leaders and educators eager to work alongside us in combatting the scourge of antisemitism and hate that plagues our society.