jewish police
Members of the Jewish Orthodox community walk through a Brooklyn neighborhood on the Yom Kippur holiday on October 09, 2019 in New York City. Spencer Platt/Getty Images


  • Five people were stabbed in a rabbi’s home in Monsey, New York during a December 28 Hanukkah celebration.
  • The attack was just the latest in an uptick of violence against Jewish New Yorkers, culminating in at least nine possible anti-Semitic attacks over the 2019 Hanukkah season.
  • The NYPD has stepped up police presence in predominantly Jewish neighborhoods in New York City in response to an upward trend of anti-Semitic hate crimes, which interest groups have called “an epidemic.”
  • Lawmakers and watchdogs from countries across the world have expressed concern over a global rise of anti-Semitism that has been linked to more than 380 incidents last year, including several deadly attacks.

Five people were stabbed in a rabbi’s home in Monsey, New York during a Hanukkah celebration when an attacker wielded a machete “about the size of a broomstick.”

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo declared the stabbing an “act of domestic terror” and said that he wanted New York to become the first state with domestic terrorism laws to answer the severity of the crimes.

Details from witnesses reported hours after the attack painted a picture of a terrifying scene, but lawmakers and interest groups responded with additional concerns that the attack is just the latest in a disturbing uptick of anti-Semitic incidents in New York and around the world.

Just one day earlier, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that city police would be ramping up their presence in neighborhoods across Brooklyn that have predominantly Jewish communities. The announcement acted as a formal response to a week that included a report of an alleged anti-Semitic attack every day, and a shooting at a Jersey City kosher market that left six people dead.

The NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force is at the forefront of the city’s efforts to investigate and prevent reported daily incidents, which include swastikas spray-painted onto synagogues, individuals yelling slurs on the street, and others physically confronting men and women dressed in traditional religious garb.

The department previously identified a concerning trend in September, saying that more than half the hate crimes reported in the city in 2019 were anti-Semitic, with Orthodox Jews at particular risk of a targeted incident.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, and the new New York police Commissioner Dermot Shea hold a press conference after meeting with Satmar Jewish community leaders to denounce the hate crime attack in Jersey City, December 12, 2019. Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images


In addition to measures by city police to increase security in communities and synagogues, the Anti-Defamation League has been among the organizations to launch a formal response to the uptick in attacks, launching anti-bias education in 40 schools across Brooklyn for the 2019-2020 school year.

However, anti-hate interest groups are concerned that this might not be enough to tackle the apparent rise of anti-Semitism in New York and other states and cities.

Oren Segal, vice president of the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism, said on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday morning that New York City’s Jewish community was undergoing “an epidemic,” and though police and targeted task forces were deploying more resources to protect the community, “we still have a long way to go, seeing the spate of anti-Semitism in the city.”

New York is a key site for the global threat of anti-Semitism

As noted anti-Semitic incidents have been on the rise, international political movements and online communities that propagate hate-based content have been called into concern as authorities try and tackle hate beyond the streets of New York.

A May 2018 report by the ADL that analyzed anti-Semitic posts on Twitter found at least 4.2 million anti-Semitic tweets were shared or re-shared on Twitter over one year.

After a gunman killed 11 people who were attending services at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue on October 27, 2018, police identified him as a frequent poster on Gab, an open-range social network that has attracted many far-right users. Just before the shooting, the suspect in the attack had posted that he was going after Jewish “invaders.”

In a statement issued after the attack in Monsey, American Jewish Committee CEO David Harris also described an “epidemic of antisemitic attacks” as a danger to Jewish communities that reflects a larger threat of hate spreading throughout society and all of its members.

“Antisemitism must never be seen as a uniquely Jewish phenomenon,” Harris wrote. “It is not. It is a virus that, as we at AJC have been saying since time immemorial, may begin with targeting Jews, but, ultimately, also seeks to destroy the pluralistic fabric of our democratic societies.”

Harris also warned of apparent rising anti-Semitism around the world, which reportedly included 387 instances of physical attacks, threats, and vandalism across Western Europe that marked 2018 with the “highest number of incidents reported in major Western democracies including the United States, France, Britain, and Germany,” according to Reuters.

A report by Tel Aviv University’s Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry said the incident record indicated anti-Semitism entering the mainstream, with links to issues like mass immigration and economic tensions.

As reported by Business Insider