Hindy Poupko, senior vice president for community strategy and external relations at UJA Federation of New York, accompanied US Representative Ritchie Torres (D-NY) on his visit to Israel this week.

Poupko tells Arutz Sheva-Israel National News that since October 7th her organization has been working to bring influential New Yorkers to Israel to witness the atrocities carried out by Hamas terrorists and "to get the first-hand account they to carry the message back to New Yorkers."

As far as the purpose of the visit, Hindy says Rep. Torres, said it best, "At every visit, with every Israeli survivor, elected official, family, he said loud and clear: 'Israel is not alone.' So despite what you may hear in headlines and from the media, Israel continues to enjoy bipartisan support and we have steadfast defenders in America, like Congressman Torres, who continue to defend Israel's right to defend itself."

On the homefront back in New York, the UJA Federation is contending with the local rise in antisemitism. "Since October 7th, there has been a nearly 400% spike in antisemitic incidents. It only took four hours after the first siren in Israel on October 7th for the first antisemitic attack related to October 7th to occur in the UK. In New York, we see that, we see that when our kosher restaurants are vandalized," Poupko explains.

With this, she adds: "What we're also seeing is incredible resilience on the part of the NY Jewish community. We hear stories of unprecedented levels of synagogue engagement, people wearing kipot for the first time, people wearing judaica on necklaces to ensure that everyone knows that New York must remain a place where we feel proud and confident to be publicly Jewish."

Poupko also notes the organizations work with the local authorities to fight antisemitism. "We are working incredibly closely with our mayor and governor, who continue to be strong supporters of our right to exist, not just in NY but Israel's right to exist and to defend itself."

Regarding the upcoming elections, Pouko emphasizes that "we need to ensure that Israel remains a bipartisan issue. That means working with our partners across the aisle on supporting Israel's right to defend itself, but it also means that our local Jewish communities need to continue to raise their voices with their local elected officials, at the federal level, the state level, and the city level to ensure that they all hear from us no matter what party they're in."