Manhattan, New York
Manhattan, New York ISTOCK

New York State Senator Shelley Mayer, who represents Westchester County, recently hosted an online discussion about combating anti-Semitism.

Panelists featured at the “Combating Antisemitism, Addressing and Preventing the Rise in Antisemitism” event included New York-New Jersey ADL director Scott Richman, Westchester DA Mimi Rocah, and Tejash Sanchala, the executive director of the Westchester County Human Rights Commission, the Yonkers Times reported.

Mayer introduced the panelists with an opening statement about the increase in anti-Semitism in Westchestser County, New York and across the United States.

“As a Jewish elected official, I believe this is an American problem,” Mayer said. “It’s not only a problem that Jews are targeted. It’s a problem when hate it so prevalent in our communities and exhibited through acts of violence, intimidation or anything else that gets in the way of our diverse communities.”

She added: “Jews have been very much on the receiving end of anti-Semitism, but it has gotten much worse this year. This has caused me to say that we need to actually confront this and speak up, and find effective solutions to reduce anti-Semitism, and make clear that it is unacceptable.”

Mayer, who is the chair of the Senate Education Committee, contended that the state’s schools must do a better job educating children about anti-Semitism and other forms of hate.

New York State’s education guidelines state that “students must be taught about the inhumanities of genocide, slavery, and the Holocaust” which “must be taught in school and students are to be taught at an early level.”

“In Yonkers students are taught by hearing from Holocaust survivors,” Mayer said. “We need to make sure that these stories are told, and students have a personal connection, before a generation leaves us.”

Richman called the current climate a “time of fear in the Jewish community.”

The ADL’s tracking of anti-Semitism incidents began to see an uptick in 2011. Since then, the number of reported cases has doubled.

“You would think that the number of incidents would have dropped significantly because of the lockdown, it did not. Why is this the case? Because anti-Semitism morphed, and found a way while we were in lockdown to spread through social media and became virtual,” Richman said.

He noted that 2019 had the highest number of anti-Semitic incidents but that incidents increased by 75 percent in 2021 during and after the May conflict between Israel and Hamas.

“There are 30 anti-Semitic incidents reported every week. And while these incidents are impacting the Jewish community, they are really impacting all of us. Hate impacts all of us, and if you tolerate one form of hate then you are tolerating all forms of hate,” he said.

Did you find a mistake in the article or inappropriate advertisement? Report to us