Anti-Defamation League opens Brooklyn satellite office to …

Posted By on April 29, 2023

NEW YORK -- The Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish civil rights organization that is celebrating its 110th birthday this year, has opened a new satellite office based out of the Boro Park Jewish Community Center.

"It's about incident response, working with victims, working with law enforcement," said ADL New York/New Jersey Regional Director Scott Richmond.

With the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the two organizations, a new partnership was made.

"We've been really, for all intents and purposes, lost and left alone," said BPJCC CEO Avi Greenstein. "While many during these times have showered us with lip service, the ADL has taken bold actions to publicly defend this community."

The borough is home to more than half a million Jews from all levels of faith and countries of origin.

"I'm proud to be here today but I'm also sad," said ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt. "To think that this beacon of Jewish life, this cradle of so much Yiddishkeit and so much Americana has become the epicenter of antisemitism in the country."

ADL leaders said this is in response to its recent audit of antisemitic incidents, which showed that New York State has the highest rate in the country. In New York City, there were 395 total incidents last year. Of those, 147 occurred in Brooklyn, including 52 assaults.

"There's never been a year worse than 2022, at least since we've been tracking," Greenblatt said.

"Never forget: every victim belongs to somebody. They are your child, sibling, spouse, neighbor or friend. I know that because my son, Ari, was murdered on the Brooklyn Bridge in the ultimate hate crime of terrorism," said Devorah Halberstam of the NYPD Civilian Hate Crime Review Panel.

Leaders acknowledged not just the challenges of combating hate, but also the legal definitions that often prevent them from being prosecuted.

"There's a distinction in the law that the community doesn't feel. Hate crimes are actually down in the county by stats," said Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez. "But many of these hateful incidents don't qualify as crimes. The spitting, the harassment."

The ADL said having its feet on the ground will allow it to respond quicker and provide outreach to victims looking for help.

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