By COLlive reporter
Photos: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office
New York City Mayor Eric Adams hosted a high-level strategic meeting on the rise of antisemitic hate crimes on Thursday, February 17th, in City Hall.
City officials attending were Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Phil Banks, Mayor’s Chief of Staff Frank Carone and his deputy Menashe Shapiro, Chief Advisor Ingrid Lewis-Martin, Senior Advisor Joel Eisdorfer, Education Chancellor David Banks, and Commissioner of the Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit Fred Kreizman.
Representing the New York Police Department were Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell, NYPD First Deputy Commissioner Edward Caban, NYPD Chief of Detectives James Essig and NYPD Community Affairs Commanding Officer Inspector Richie Taylor.
Also in attendance was City Council Jewish Caucus Chairman Eric Dinowitz along with Councilmembers Kalman Yeger, Inna Vernikov, Ari Kagan, Lincoln Restler, Lynn Schulman and Julie Menin.
Community leaders who participated included Agudath Israel of America Executive Vice President Rabbi Dovid Zwiebel, Met Council CEO David Greenfield, Sephardic vommunity leader David Heskiel, Rabbinical Alliance of America/Igud Executive Vice President Rabbi Mendy Mirocznik, Hatzalah CEO Yehiel Kalish, UJA-Federation CEO Eric Goldstein, Williamsburg Community leader Moshe Indig, UJO Executive Director Rabbi Dovid Niederman, Williamsburg Community leader Isaac Werzberger, NYPD Hate Crimes Review Panel Chair Honorary Commissioner Devorah Halberstam, Crown Heights Jewish Community Council Executive Vice President Rabbi Chanina Sperlin, NY Board of Rabbis Executive Vice President Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, Flatbush Jewish Community Coalition Chairman Josh Mehlman, Boro Park Community leader Rabbi Bernard Freilich, Misaskim CEO Yanky Meyer, Jewish Community Relations Council CEO Gideon Taylor, Jewish Community Relations Council CEO Emeritus Rabbi Michael Miller, Crown Heights community leader Yaacov Behrman and Simon Wiesenthal Center Eastern Director Michael Cohen.
Mayor Adams spoke strongly about fighting hate crimes and making education and enforcement a top priority. The Mayor stated that he asked Education Chancellor Banks to attend “as a call to action” in order to collaborate with the leaders there and add school curriculum which educates students about respect and sensitivity to the many diverse communities of New York.
Mayor Adams personally pledged about himself that “no one is going to work harder, no one is going to be more committed, no one is going to be more dedicated in these next few years to turn this city around in the right direction.”
Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell stated, “We take these crimes seriously, we value the partnership we have in the community and we hope to enhance that going forward.”
NYPD Inspector Richie Taylor spoke about the hate crime assault which occurred on Friday night on Avenue L and East 32 Street at 10:40pm and the hate crime menacing incident which occurred a few minutes later on Nostrand Avenue and Kings Highway. Inspector Taylor spoke about how the mayor was personally involved in directing the investigative response to these incidents and with intelligent detective work the perpetrator was arrested.
“Mayor Adams’ immediate response speaks volumes,” said Inspector Taylor, who said as soon as the hate crimes took place, Mayor Adams immediately “got the ball rolling to start the investigation, and that is something I have never seen a mayor do before.”
NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell “spoke beautifully about the continued positive strong relationship between New York City’s Jewish community and the police department,” Inspector Taylor recounted. “She said that we will always be laser-focused and take swift, investigative action to ensure that no one in the city can commit a hate crime and get away with it.”
“It’s refreshing to see the mayor’s office working hand-in-hand with the NYPD to keep New Yorkers safe,” said NYPD Clergy Liaison David Heskiel, who attended the meeting as a representative of New York City’s Sephardic community.
“Mayor Adam’s had all his senior staff participate,” commented Crown Heights activist Yaacov Behrman. “This sent a strong and clear message that hate won’t be tolerated in New York City.”
Anyone who has information on criminal activity is urged to call the NYPD Crime Stoppers Tip Line at 800-577-TIPS. In addition, if anyone has information or sees suspicious terrorism activity is urged to call the NYPD Terrorism Tip Line at 888-NYC-SAFE.