May 3, 2023, By Bill Parry
In response to the sharp rise of antisemitic violence and harassment, as well as hate violence targeted at LGBTQIA+ and other New Yorkers in recent years, Councilwoman Tiffany Cabán rolled out her “Resisting Antisemitism and Hate Violence” initiative Tuesday at the Astoria Center of Israel (ACI).
Just a day later, the NYPD released its citywide crime statistics for April, showing a 7% rise in hate crimes targeting Jewish people and a 150% rise in hate crimes targeting sexual orientation from April 2022.
“Antisemitism poses a serious danger to my beloved Jewish neighbors and friends: whether it’s the graffiti swastikas District 22 has unfortunately seen in recent years or white nationalist activists spouting antisemitic conspiracy theories, we must not tolerate threats of violence, particularly to a community that has faced brutality and terror for centuries and centuries, all over the world,” Cabán said.
Cabán said she would use various means to unite her constituents in the aftermath of hate violence incidents, from community conversations and neighborhood safety events to school- and neighborhood-based political education sessions.
Cabán also announced the disbursement of over $50,000 worth of discretionary funds to The NYC Anti-Violence Project and Malikah, two organizations working to resist hate violence in District 22.
“Antisemitism is a societal disease that is rotten to the core,” said Rabbi Joshua Rabin of the Astoria Center of Israel. “It’s one of a family of diseases that all Americans have to work to eradicate, including racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, ableism, and transphobia, which is a particularly salient form of prejudice today. But when we work together, with our government and organizational partners to make this community safe for everyone, we send a clear message across differences that hate has no hope here.”
NYC Comptroller Brad Lander delivered remarks during Cabán’s press conference at ACI.
“Fighting the rise of antisemitism and other incidents of hate violence requires collective action across communities to educate, protect, and support one another,” Lander said. “I’m grateful for Council Member Caban’s focus on supporting community organizations to scale up bystander intervention training, political education, and trauma support for victims of antisemitic hate violence. Investing in community, education, and care is how we keep each other safe.”
Cabán’s office is following up this launch with a community conversation around antisemitism and hate violence, the inaugural event in her new “Potluck and Political Education” series. The event, which will take place at Cabán’s district office located at 30-83 31st St., will be co-hosted by Jews for Racial and Economic Justice in the near future.
“One of the main things antisemitism does is make Jews feel isolated and separate from the rest of society,” said Audrey Sasson, Executive Director of Jews for Racial and Economic Justice. “That means there’s nothing more powerful than denying our enemies that win. They cannot win when we are beloved and in deep relationships with our neighbors, working together to make our city a safe home where all of us have what we need to thrive. We’ve been so moved to watch and participate in the intentional development of Council Member Cabán’s visionary approach to fighting antisemitism. With this powerful set of commitments, she is making it clear: New York Jews are not in this alone. We are in this together – and incredibly grateful.”