Anti-Defamation League opens Borough Park office, citing 40 …

Posted By on April 29, 2023

An organization that works to combat antisemitism is opening a new office in Brooklyn in response to a spike in anti-Jewish incidents last year.

The Anti-Defamation League is setting up shop at the Jewish Community Center in Borough Park, a predominantly Orthodox Jewish neighborhood, as incidents against observant Jews rise.

The ADL recorded 3,697 antisemitic incidents throughout the U.S. in 2022, the highest number since it started tracking such cases in 1979 and a 36% increase from the previous year. Of the 111 physical assaults recorded last year, more than half occurred in New York City and almost all of those were in Brooklyn.

Jonathan Greenblatt, the ADL's director, said about two-thirds of assaults targeted visibly Orthodox Jews, who are often identifiable based on their clothing and head coverings.

This is targeted, hateful violence, attacking the most visible, making them the most vulnerable segment of our community, he said.

About a quarter of all Jewish people in the U.S. live in the New York City metro area, which includes the five boroughs, Westchester and Long Island, according to Brandeis Universitys American Jewish Population Project. Brooklyn has the largest Jewish population in the region, with more than 800,000 adults and children.

Anti-Jewish incidents accounted for the largest share of confirmed hate crimes reported to the NYPD last year, according to its data dashboard. Of the 607 confirmed incidents, 262 were anti-Jewish or about 43%. Anti-Asian hate crimes were the second-most common, with 83 confirmed incidents, followed by 73 hate crimes against gay men and 53 against Black people.

Hate crimes often go unreported and rarely end in an arrest, even when someone goes to the police. The NYPD made an arrest in fewer than half of the confirmed hate crime incidents last year.

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said such cases are difficult to argue in court, because prosecutors have to show that someone had hateful intent.

In many of the anti-Asian and antisemitic attacks, a person will just walk up to someone whos visibly Jewish or Asian, sock them, dont say anything and keep moving, he said, adding this is often not enough to prove someones motive in court.

Antisemitic incidents in New York City last year included a person yelling Hey Jew and shooting a BB gun in an Orthodox Jewish neighborhood in Brooklyn; two teens chasing a 13-year-old boy on Staten Island and snatching his yarmulke off his head; and a woman slapping a Jewish teen while he was standing outside the headquarters of the Chabad-Lubavitch Hasidic movement in Brooklyn, according to the ADL.

Last fall, police also arrested two men at Penn Station who were believed to be planning an attack at a Manhattan synagogue. One of the men was allegedly wearing a arm patch bearing a swastika and had made multiple threats on Twitter, according to a criminal complaint. Officers recovered a pistol, a high-capacity magazine and a military-style knife.

This week marks the beginning of a trial for the man accused of killing 11 people during a mass shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh in 2018. Officials have called the shooting the deadliest antisemitic act of violence in U.S. history.

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Anti-Defamation League opens Borough Park office, citing 40 ...

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