Two New York City councilmen denounced the rise in anti-Semitic crime rates, based on a report released on Tuesday, and urged passage of legislation that would grant any yeshivah that requested it a school safety officer.
David Greenfield of Brooklyn and Mark Levine of Manhattan condemned the rise of anti-Semitism, which spiked 29 percent over the past year, according to the NYPD’s Hate Crime Task Force report.
In May, Greenfield’s district saw three reported incidents of hate crimes. Swastikas were etched outside a local kosher supermarket and on a rail guard. There were also multiple hate messages scrawled on the Mirrer Yeshiva on Ocean Parkway.
These attacks, Greenfield and Levine say, demonstrate the necessity for the yeshivah security guard, a bill introduced by Greenfield.
“We have to face the facts: religiously motivated crimes are up,” Greenfield said. “Every New Yorker deserves to be safe from bias attacks. However, certainly our most vulnerable citizens — our children — deserve to be protected.”
“The rise in hate crimes against Jewish New Yorkers should alarm us all,” said Levine, who chairs the Jewish Caucus. “We must do everything we can to reverse this trend, and to protect those most vulnerable — particularly children at Jewish schools.”
While 46 council members have signed on to the bill, Mayor Bill de Blasio said he felt it unnecessary. Talks with the council are ongoing ahead of a budget deadline at the end of June.