Mayor Adams Meets With Religious Leaders, Calls for Unity, Safety

By Matis Glenn

Mayor Eric Adams speaking at the meeting of religious leaders, Friday Dec. 8 (Photo by: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)

New York City Mayor Eric Adams met with religious leaders from across the city Friday morning, in an effort to promote peace and safety amid a large increase in hate crimes across the city, state and country.

At the event, attended by elected officials, Adams referred to religious leaders as the “social and moral conscience of our entire city.”

After acknowledging and condemning the rise of hate crimes, Adams highlighted the charitable actions of religious groups. “While there has been a rise of hate we do need to lean into the displays of love.

“There are so many ways we display how great we are as a city, and today is another symbol of that.”

Adams attended the menorah lighting at the White House Thursday evening. “This festival of light reminds us that every act of light has the power to spark hope,” Adams said, regarding Chanukah.

Speaking about the city, Adams said “We are built on religious and racial tolerance.”

“They want to divide us,” Adams said, regarding perpetrators of hate crimes. “The actions of an individual can have a cascading effect on our city, our state and our country.”

Speaking about a recent cancellation of a Chanukah event in Virginia, Adams said “We can’t have fear and hate dictate how we live,” and vowed that “Those who commit these acts will be brought to justice.”

The mayor also announced that in light of recent vandalism targeting public menorahs, including an incident this week in Sunset Park, the city will deploy additional security measures at public lightings and other Chanukah ceremonies and events.

“You’ve made it clear that your goal is to bring everyone together… To bring out the wonderful mosaic of New York,” Rabbi Chaim Steinmetz, of Kehilat Jeshurun in Manhattan said. “It’s not enough to call out hate…If we don’t bring light, darkness will always win.” He then quoted the Baal Shem Tov, who said that a little bit of light dispels a lot of darkness.

“You are our heroes,” he said, referring to NYPD.

According to the NYPD, the total number of antisemitic-crime complaints in New York City rose 214% in October and 32% in November, compared with the same months of 2022.

(Photo by: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)

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