By Nechama Piekarski
Last week, I called on politicians to address the escalating violence against Jewish people in Crown Heights in practical ways and to respond with action.
I am grateful to Eli Cohen of the Crown Heights Jewish Community Council (CHJCC) for his response and I urge all residents to take personal responsibility in creating a safer neighborhood.
Today, I call on landlords who are Jewish and those who have the power to transform Crown Heights into a safer community, to do just that!
We do have in our neighborhood people that have connections which can be used to produce authentic transformation.
If Hashem has given a person the ability to achieve positive results due to their position, how can they remain quiet while their brethren are being victimized? How can they fail to act in a way that benefits the community?
I demand that the wealthy Jewish families who own buildings in our community and blatantly discriminate by not renting to their fellow Jews, take a stand.
Enough of the discrimination against your own! You can change the face of Crown Heights by renting apartments to your own people and getting rid of any drug-ridden, violent offenders in your buildings.
Each day, as I pass by a drug infested apartment building on my block and witness the exchange of drugs by the current residents, often with the beggars on Kingston Avenue, my heart breaks.
How can you, the Jewish landowner, sleep at night? You can singlehandedly reduce the fears of our children, the violent incidents, and create a safer Crown Heights in the process.
I challenge you to rent to Jews as well, the next time one calls your office about rental availability. I challenge you to place your trust in the G-d who will support you when you fear the high turnover rate in the apartments. I challenge you to take the action necessary to truly help your brethren.
Enough of the apathy, enough of learned helplessness, enough of the disunity that created an uncaring community! Let’s make sure that each one of us takes responsibility for ourselves and for each other!