Jewish communities all over United States are standing their ground amid spate of anti-Semitic attacks in New York since December 2019.
Rabbi Ken Brodkin of the Congregation Kesser Israel in Oregon said the Jewish people will not cower and is prepared to deal with these hate crimes head on.
Brodkin, who leads over 130 Jewish families in Oregon’s Portland area, said their congregation has established security measures, one is hiring armed guard to patrol their synagogue during weekend
services, to keep them safe from hateful outsiders.
Anti-Semitic attacks in the US has increased since the 2017 mass shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas, where 26 people were killed and 20 others injured in what was considered as one of the deadliest mass shooting incident in US history.
In the first half of 2019, 780 cases of hate crimes were recorded against the Jews in the US, only five short from similar cases recorded in the first half of 2018, according to the Anti-Defamation Council.
In New York, a spate of anti-Semitic attacks heightened in December 2019, with innocent Jews being the subject of hate crimes and slurs by what were described as white supremacists and self-proclaimed “Black Hebrew” offenders according to a post by Vox.com.
The New York Police reported that hate crimes against Jews in the city began on December 23 with a 65 year-old man punched in the face by a young man shouting anti-Semitic abuse at him. This was followed by incidents of attacks to women and older men, who became victims due to their clothing or manner of living being obvious Jews.
This, on top of the shooting incident perpetrated by two gunmen at a kosher supermarket in Jersey City, New Jersey, where four people were killed early December.
Most serious of the recent attacks was the stabbing incident in Monsey, New York, where five Hasidic Jews were severely injured as attackers barged in and launched a stabbing spree at a Hanukkah party in a rabbi home.
Following these incidents, and a matter to show force, Jewish people across the US rallied on the streets of New York to condemn these spate of domestic terrorism and crimes against them.
“Nothing is going to stop us praying to God, nothing is going to stop us being Jewish. I’m really hoping the world can wake up and not be so hateful,” said 24-year old Nechama Kramer, a self defense teacher who is willing to help comrades in the faith with lessons to protect themselves, in a report by USAToday.
Meanwhile, more Jews are now sold to arming themselves for protection. About 70 percent of American Jews believed controlling gun ownership is more important than protecting gun rights, based on a review by ACJ’s 2018 Survey of American Jewish Opinion.
Also, Jewish families have added security measures to their homes with high-tech locks, alarms and closed circuit television cameras while congregations in New York engaged their members in security trainings through the Community Security Initiative of the United Jewish Association-Federation of New York and the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York. ##