January 2020 -- Tevet-Shevat 5780,  Volume 26, Issue 1

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Elected officials march across the Brooklyn Bridge. (From right to left) Congressman Gregory Meeks; Governor Andrew Cuomo, UJA CEO Eric Goldstein; Senator Chuck Schumer; Mayor Bill DeBlasio; US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand; JCRC CEO Michael Miller; and New York State Attorney General Letitia James. Image courtesy of Jake Asner, UJA-Federation of New York.

 

“NO HATE. NO FEAR.” March Crosses the Brooklyn Bridge

On January 5, 2020, dozens of elected officials from the Greater New York region joined more than 25,000 New Yorkers at “No Hate. No Fear.”,  a solidarity march with New York’s Jewish community, across the Brooklyn Bridge. The march was organized by UJA-Federation of New York (UJA) and the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York (JCRC-NY), as well as ADL-NY, AJC-NY, and the New York Board of Rabbis following the violent, anti-Semitic attacks in Monsey, Brooklyn, and Jersey City.

 

“Today we do not simply walk over a bridge, we begin building better bridges between all denominations of Jews, and between Jews and non-Jews,” said Eric S. Goldstein, CEO of UJA-Federation of New York. “Building bridges means putting aside our differences, religious and political, and calling out anti-Semitism and all forms of hate wherever we see it. The purpose of today’s march is to loudly and publicly proclaim that an attack on a visibly Orthodox Jew is an attack on every Jew, an attack on every New Yorker, and an attack on every person of good will.”

 

“The showing today of over 25,000 people representing the full spectrum of the Jewish community of New York, and many from the non-Jewish community, is a reflection of the seriousness of the plague of anti-Semitism affecting New York,” said Michael Miller, executive vice president and CEO of JCRC-NY. “We will continue to work with our political leadership locally, statewide, and nationally to address this scourge to ensure the safety and security of the Jewish community and all communities in New York.”

 

Following the march, New Yorkers of all backgrounds gathered in Brooklyn’s Cadman Plaza where a number of community leaders and heads of faith-based organizations including Cardinal Timothy Dolan spoke about the recent attacks, the rise of anti-Semitism, and the need for people of all faiths to fight injustice.

 

Additional speakers and performers during the program included Eric Goldstein, Michael Miller, Maccabeats, Devorah Halberstam, Jonathan Greenblatt, Gil Monrose, David Harris, Mehnaz Afridi, Janice Shorenstein, Frankie Miranda, Joe Potasnik, Bishop Anthony DiMarzio, Blake Flayton, Matisyahu, Eric Ward, Chaskel Bennet, Rabbi Avraham Gopin, Shulem, MaNishtana, Lawrence Aker, Rev. Que English, Eli Cohen, Amy Bressman, Bari Weiss, and Isaiah Rothstein, as well as a video message from Rabbi David Niederman.

 

Governor Cuomo addressed those assembled and said, “I am heartened to see this amazing show of support and solidarity…

 

 “And while we’re here today in the spirit of solidarity and love, government must do more than just offer thoughts and prayers, government must act. This is illegal and it is government’s responsibility to protect the people of the State of New York and the State government will be doing just that. As soon as the Legislature comes back I’m going to propose a new law for the State of New York that calls this hate what it is - it is domestic terrorism. These are terrorists and they should be punished as such. We’re going to increase the State Police force and the Hate Crimes Task Force so we have more State Police in vulnerable communities.

 

“We are going to work with schools all across the state to make sure our young people are educated on our history and our diversity and the strength of that diversity. We’ll be working with faith leaders, because from every pulpit, every podium to every congregation in this state, we have to be condemning these acts.

 

“And today the state is going to make an additional $45 million available to non-public schools and religious institutions for security. We also ask every New Yorker to be involved in this crusade today. And if any New Yorker has any information about a possible attack or an attack that has happened, we ask them to be active and to help us thwart these attacks. We have a 1-800 number - 1-877-NO-HATE-NY. If you have any information, we have that tip line open, let’s all stand together and united.

 

“These acts of hate may not have started in New York - we’ve seen them across the nation - but these acts of hate must stop and end in the State of New York, and that’s New York at her best. Everyone today says the same thing: No hate in our state, period. We won’t tolerate it, we condemn it, we stand united against it and we are going to act against it.”