De Blasio aims to fight antisemitism with diversity

Maryor DeBlasio

Story at a glance

  • New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is launching a diverse multi-ethnic coalition to help stop violence against Jewish people.
  • These new Neighborhood Safety Coalitions are designed to have members from “multiethnic” backgrounds.
  • Supplementing these efforts will be hate crime awareness courses in schools.

In light of the rising number of antisemitic attacks, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has launched a new multi-ethnic interfaith Neighborhood Safety Coalitions and introduced a new curriculum in an attempt to quell the wave of hate crimes seen in the past several weeks.

In a press conference on December 29, de Blasio, along with NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea, Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, and several other community leaders, outlined a three-pronged approach to take preventative measures toward the recent incidents of antisemitic violence.

As previously reported, de Blasio is adding additional NYPD officers in neighborhoods with a high Jewish population, such as Williamsburg, Crown Heights, and Borough Park, with increased security monitoring the borough.

These officers will be joined by a new force run by the Office for Prevention of Hate Crimes aptly called Neighborhood Safety Coalitions. What makes this initiative unique, however, is the intentional diversity that will make up these units.

Calling it a “multi-ethnic interfaith” group, de Blasio stated that “It won’t be people of one background and one neighborhood, it will be people of multiple backgrounds working together.”

The new Neighborhood Safety Coalitions we be built off of the city program Cure Violence that has helped battle gun violence.

De Blasio underscored the coalitions will work toward building grassroots leadership to take preventative steps to stop violence in the city.

In conjunction with law enforcement efforts, The Department of Education is developing resources to develop a hate crime awareness program for middle and high schoolers.

De Blasio explained that “Young people don’t understand the meaning of their actions,” and that these classes will make schools a safe place for students to “promote acceptance, inclusion, and the diversity of their communities.”

Several violent attacks on Jewish people have captured the nation’s attention, with at least nine individual events reported in the past two weeks, including a woman getting slapped and two Hasidic boys getting punched.

recent stabbing during a Chanunakeh celebration in Monsey, N.Y., only exacerbated rapidly-growing concerns. De Blasio, city councilmembers, police officers, and religious leaders alike all say they are committed to stopping these violent trends through teamwork.

The pattern seems to have risen after a shooting attack in a Pittsburgh synagogue that resulted in eleven deaths.

“We have confronted hatred before,” de Blasio said, “… and yet, working together, we have snuffed out that hatred.”

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