Borough Park

Spike in anti-Semitic crimes worries Greenfield

Councilmember says yeshivas should have NYPD security

June 12, 2015 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Councilmember David Greenfield is alarmed at the rise in anti-Semitic crimes in New York City. Photo courtesy Greenfield’s office

Councilmember David Greenfield, who earlier this year introduced a bill that would allow yeshivas and other religious schools to have city-funded security officers, is redoubling his efforts to get the legislation passed, charging that a recent spike in anti-Semitic crimes makes passage imperative.

This year to date, anti-Semitic crimes in the city have increased by 29 percent, according to Greenfield, who cited figures from the NYPD’s Hate Crime Task Force.

His bill, Introduction 65, would mandate the NYPD to assign a school security officer to any school that requests one, regardless of whether the school is public or private. Greenfield first introduced the legislation in February. Last month, he organized a rally outside City Hall to demonstrate widespread support for the bill.

Greenfield (D-Borough Park-Midwood-Bensonhurst) said three shocking incidents of hate crimes were reported in his district in May. The first incident involved two swastikas being etched outside a local kosher supermarket. In another incident, four swastikas were drawn in marker on a rail guard. In the third crime, multiple hate messages were scrawled on the Mirrer Yeshiva on Ocean Parkway, Greenfield said.

The attacks and the overall rise in anti-Semitic crimes demonstrate the urgency and necessity of his bill, Greenfield said.

“We can’t ignore the blatant anti-Semitic attacks that are spiking throughout New York City. We have to face the facts: religiously motivated crimes are up,” Greenfield said in a statement. “Every New Yorker deserves to be safe from bias attacks. However, certainly our most vulnerable citizens – our children – deserve to be protected. We need Mayor de Blasio to support the council’s legislation providing security guards for yeshivas before it’s too late.” 

Councilmember Mark Levine, chairman of the Jewish Caucus, also condemned the recent attacks. “The rise in hate crimes against Jewish New Yorkers should alarm us all,” he stated.

Levine (D-Morningside Heights) also called on the de Blasio administration to support Greenfield’s bill.

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“We must do everything we can to reverse this trend, and to protect those most vulnerable – particularly children at Jewish schools,” he stated.

The bill has the support of Public Advocate Letitia James, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and organizations like the Orthodox Union, Agudath Israel of America, the UJA-Federation, the Sephardic Community Federation, the Catholic Community Relations Council, the Diocese of Brooklyn, the Archdiocese of New York, the Muslim Community Network, the Islamic Schools Association of New York and the NYS Association of Independent Schools.

 

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