Thousands march in solidarity against anti-Semitism

Demonstrators on the Brooklyn Bridge.
Demonstrators on the Brooklyn Bridge.
Amanda Luz Henning Santiago
Demonstrators on the Brooklyn Bridge.

Thousands march in solidarity against anti-Semitism

At the rally, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Sen. Chuck Schumer both announced intentions to provide more funding to protect religious institutions.
January 6, 2020

On Sunday, roughly 25,000 people marched from Foley Square in Lower Manhattan over the Brooklyn Bridge to Cadman Plaza in Brooklyn, where a rally was held to stand in solidarity against anti-Semitism amid the recent spate of anti-Semitic attacks in New York. 

Demonstrators of all faiths participated in the march, which included groups from Catholic churches, the Pentecostal Church of Jesus Christ in Brooklyn and the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom, an organization made up of Muslim and Jewish women. Some marchers chanted “no hate, no fear,” some sang Hebrew songs and some sported Israeli flags. All appeared resolute in their desire to stomp out hate, violence and discrimination toward the state’s Jewish community. 

Throughout the fourth week of December, during the Jewish celebration of Hanukkah, eight anti-Semitic attacks occured in New York City, that ranged from hurled insults to physical violence. On Dec. 28, the seventh night of Hanukkah, five people were stabbed at a Hasidic rabbi’s home in Rockland County. According to the New York Police Department’s Hate Crimes Task Force, hate crimes are up 14% this year.

Numerous New York lawmakers turned up at the rally in Brooklyn, including U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, Attorney General Letitia Games, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, City Council members Brad Lander and Mark D. Levine, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, among many others.

At the rally, Cuomo announced that the state would be allocating $45 million to protect religious institutions in New York and that there would continue to be a heightened state police presence in areas with large Jewish populations. Cuomo also said that the state has created a hotline for people to report discrimination. Schumer also announced federal proposals that would provide funding to protect religious institutions and allow police to better combat hate crimes.

New York Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein, however, claimed that the state had already budgeted $45 million to protect religious institutions and that additional funding is required. 

Few members of the city’s Hasidic community, who were targeted in the recent attacks, were in attendance at the demonstration, according to The New York Times. Some leaders from the Hasidic community criticized a few of the Jewish organizations, such as J Street and Young Advocates for Fair Education, who helped organize and sponsor the event for not supporting the Hasidim in other aspects of their political agenda. The march and rally were organized and sponsored by the United Jewish Appeal-Federation of New York, the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York, the Anti-Defamation League of New York and New Jersey, in addition to several other Jewish organizations. 

“We know our community is a complicated one,” Eric Goldstein, chief executive officer of the United Jewish Appeal-Federation of New York, told the Times. “We need to recognize that despite differences we have, we’re here to show our solidarity with all Jews, including very much the visibly traditional Orthodox community.”

Amanda Luz Henning Santiago
Amanda Luz Henning Santiago
is City & State's web reporter and social media editor.
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