Gov. Hochul announces steps to curb antisemitic attacks during Jewish holidays

Lauren Glassberg Image
Tuesday, September 19, 2023
Security ramps up across Tri-State for Jewish holidays
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced steps to curb antisemitic hate crimes as Jewish holidays get underway across the Tri-State. Lauren Glassberg has more.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Synagogues all over the Tri-State are ramping up security in preparation for the 10 holiest days of the year for Jews.

The changes come after several threats over the Rosh Hashanah holiday weekend, even prompting New York Governor Kathy Hochul to take additional measures.

The Anti-Defamation League says antisemitic hate crimes are up 36% over the past year.

The sign at Temple Beth David in Commack marks the Jewish New Year, but it began with a scare for the congregation, after receiving an email with a bomb threat.

"It was a graphic sentence that there would be people in pools of blood," Rabbi Beth Klafter said.

The attack didn't happen, and it turns out, the threat was one of give at Long Island synagogues over the holiday weekend.

Additionally, MacArthur Airport received a threat. Police say all the threats were unfounded.

And while this is all unsettling, Rabbi Klafter believes her congregants will continue to show up.

"I think it's a feeling we want to be together, and we will not let actions like this get in our way," she said.

But antisemitic actions are becoming more prevalent.

"That's one antisemitic attack -- physical, verbal every 33 hours here in New York," Hochul said.

To fight the antisemitic attacks, Hochul announced a number of steps on Tuesday, including: the creation of an anti-hate education center, improved collection of data involving hate incidents and hate crime seminars for law enforcement.

"Certainly, it's a step in the right direction," Rabbi Jessica Rosenthal said.

Rabbi Rosenthal's congregation B'nai Israel Temple in Oakdale was also targeted with an email threat. B'nai Israel will have increased security for Yom Kippur services, Sunday and Monday. She expects a strong attendance.

"When we receive hateful word and hateful messages it's very difficult, but I also think that one of the most important things that I can say about it is that we can't let this hatred or this antisemite define who we are," she said.


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