Photos: Shmuel Amit/COLlive
Eric Goldstein, CEO of UJA Federation of New York, came to Crown Heights Sunday to express solidarity with the community after the recent string of bias assaults that has plagued the community.
He was joined at the Jewish Children’s Museum by Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, Police Chief Charles Scholl, Rabbi Michael Miller, CEO of JCRC of New York, and by representatives of the AJC.
The meeting was hosted by museum Co-founder and Director of External Affairs Devorah Halberstam, who is also Clergy Liaison to the NYPD.
Mr. Goldstein’s message to the community was clear and simple, stating, “We are with you. How can we help?”
He invited members of the community to provide suggestions of ways that the large community organizations can assist the community.
A group of Shul Rabbis and heads of schools and organizations in the community responded with various suggestions of investments that could help counter the threat, from a larger network of cameras throughout the community, to more patrols, to educating the community to help prevent violence.
The District Attorney began with a clear statement of how seriously his office takes bias incidents.
“When someone is robbed, there is one victim, but when someone is attacked in a hate crime, an entire community is victimized,” said the DA.
The DA’s office has an entire bureau designated to addressing hate crimes, with senior attorneys and investigators. The DA is committed both to bringing perpetrators to justice and to working on programs to prevent violence, he said.
Chief Scholl reiterated the NYPD’s commitment to preventing and solving hate crimes. He spoke of a new plan that has been formulated by Chief of Patrol, Chief Rodney Harrison, to assign a serious additional police presence to the community until these incidents have been eliminated.
Leaders from the African American and Caribbean American communities, Dr. Richard Green, Pastor Frank Black, and District Leader Geoffrey Davis, spoke of the way that the community works together and committed to assisting in the educational efforts.
Participating from the Crown Heights community were Rabbi Yitzchok Holtzman, Rabbi of Downstate Medical Center, Col. Jacob Goldstein, Rabbi Meir Shushan of Lincoln Place Beis Hamedrash, Rabbi Moshe Pinson, Beis Shmuel Chabad, Lawrence Horwitz, Kol Israel, Rabbi Chaim Fogelman, OK Kosher, Rabbi Moishe Feiglin, Aliya Youth Center, Mrs. Shaindel Tiechtel, Bais Rivkah, Rabbi Hershel Lustig, Oholei Torah, Rabbi Mendy Kotlarsky, Merkos/Suite 302, Rabbi Ephraim Mintz, JLI, Eli Slavin, aide to Congresswoman Yvette Clarke, and Zaki Tamir and Rabbi Chanina Sperlin, of the CHJCC.
Rabbi Eli Cohen, Executive Director of Crown Heights Jewish Community Council, chaired the meeting.