Long Island leaders create Municipal Leaders Against antisemitism initiative to stop Jewish hate
Nassau and Suffolk officials announced a bipartisan and island wide coalition Monday to fight antisemitism.
The new initiative called Municipal Leaders Against Anti-Semitism come as there is a slight uptick in antisemitic incidents in Nassau County. There were 28 so far this year, compared to 24 in 2021.
Rabbi Eli Goldman's temple, Chabad of the Beaches in Long Beach, had its Torah scrolls stolen.
In July, his community was also filled with leaflets spreading anti-Jewish hate.
"We do need to talk about it because rather than brush it and pretend it's not happening, We have to say that it is happening," Goodman said
In October, an Aquebogue man was arrested for allegedly plotting an attack on a New York City synagogue.
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone says the coalition is about stopping hate, including harmful political speech.
"Divisive rhetoric creates the space for the ones who have hate in their heart to step forward and feel the freedom to voice it out loud and in some cases, act on it," Bellone says.
The coalition brings the American Jewish Committee together with county, town and village officials
Goodman hopes the new effort will cut down on antisemitic crimes.
"I just think action is most important," Goodman said. "Having these conferences, conferences are there to come up with ideas, but then we need to implement those ideas."
Both Nassau and Suffolk adopted an internationally recognized definition of antisemitism so it can be targeted.
According to the American Jewish Committee, about a third of Jewish people are changing their behavior so they will not be as easily recognizable as being Jewish to avoid any kind of antisemitic attack.