Staten Island Community Leaders Condemn Anti-Semitic Attacks; Pledge To Keep Staten Island’s Jewish Community Safe

Andrew J. Lanza

January 01, 2020

New York State Senator Andrew Lanza said, "People of faith and Staten Islanders of all traditions are rightfully alarmed at the heinous acts of hate that have recently occurred. Though evil acts such as the sickening attack on the seventh night of Hanukkah are intended to frighten people, I am confident that such despicable actions will instead strengthen our total resolve against hate and bigotry. I will stand shoulder to shoulder with District Attorney McMahon, Borough President Oddo, Congressman Rose, and the respected leaders of Staten Island’s Jewish and faith communities to ensure that the resources are in place to protect our places of worship and to ensure that those in law enforcement have the tools they need to root out hate and intolerance."

District Attorney Michael E. McMahon, Rep. Max Rose, Borough President James Oddo, Island Elected Officials, NYPD, Council Of Jewish Organizations (COJO) of Staten Island & Community Leaders Condemn Anti-Semitic Attacks; Pledge To Keep Staten Island’s Jewish Community Safe Following Multiple Incidents In The Greater New York Area

**DA’s Staten Island Hate Crimes Task Force, together with COJO, will host a community security meeting in the coming weeks**

Staten Island, N.Y. – Today, District Attorney Michael E. McMahon, Congressman Max Rose, Borough President James Oddo, Island elected officials, Council of Jewish Organizations (COJO) of Staten Island CEO & President Scott Maurer and Mendy Mirocznik, and the District Attorney’s Staten Island Hate Crimes Task Force condemned the violent and anti-Semitic attack that occurred in Monsey, N.Y this past Saturday when five people were stabbed at a rabbi’s home while celebrating the seventh night of Hanukkah. At the same time, the Hate Crimes Task Force pledged to advocate for more resources and security in order to protect the Jewish community on Staten Island and prevent the spread of violent anti-Semitism following multiple incidents in New York and New Jersey. 

Further, in the coming weeks, the District Attorney’s Staten Island Hate Crimes Task Force, together with COJO of Staten Island, will host a community security meeting that will be open to the public. The meeting will be an opportunity for community leaders, elected officials, and law enforcement to update the people of Staten Island on what measures are being taken to keep them and their families safe as well as hear suggestions and concerns from residents concerned about the recent spate of anti-Semitic violence in and around New York City. The exact date, time, and location will be announced in the coming days.

District Attorney Michael E. McMahon said, “The sickening, cowardly, and senseless act of violence that occurred over the weekend against our Jewish brothers and sisters as they celebrated Hanukkah should shake us all. Anti-Semitism has no place in this Country and we must remain united in our stand against hatred and bigotry.  Earlier this month, my office came together with the Borough President, the NYPD, and our Jewish community leaders in response to a disturbing rise in anti-Semitic crimes occurring in New York City. As a result, security was increased around Jewish houses of worship on Staten Island and we are continuing to strengthen security throughout the Jewish community to ensure their safety and protection during these troubling times. The horrifying attack in Monsey, N.Y. shows that we must do more to denounce anti-Semitism and prevent the spread of fear and violence. As we continue to pray for the full and swift recovery for those injured, we will redouble our efforts to put an end to such vile attacks.”

Congressman Max Rose said, “Anti-Semitic attacks in our communities have become a nearly daily occurrence. No Jew should live in fear of violence in America. This cannot continue. Every level of government must come together during this time of crisis to ensure safety and security for every Jewish community through the country. No stone can be left unturned. No resource withheld. These are acts of terror, period. They must be confronted with the full weight of everything we have.”

Borough President James Oddo said, “Every Staten Islander should be concerned by what we are seeing. It’s a clear indication of a serious problem in our society that can manifest itself in many ugly ways, which can impact each of us at some point. Today, once again it is virulent anti-Semitism. But the ignorance and hate that is fueling these acts of violence can reemerge tomorrow directed at others. We need to act as a community — to stand up for each other — and as government wrestles with how it can act to stop this behavior, each of us as individuals needs to think about how we can be kinder and more empathetic to those around us, including strangers."

Scott Maurer & Mendy Mirocznik, CEO/Co-Chair of the District Attorney’s Staten Island Hate Crimes Task Force & President of the Council of Jewish Organizations (COJO) Staten Island said, “As a community we feel a sense of pain and loss. Here, in Staten Island we are fortunate to have a District Attorney, elected officials and the NYPD who work in tandem and resolved that hate against one group is hate against all of us, we feel that in our bones. We have seen this approach taken when any community has confronted the evil reality of hate. We have stood together and in one voice on many occasions as a united Staten Island of all backgrounds against hate, bigotry and anti-Semitism. However, the time has come to implement a plan for prevention as well as a plan for prosecution and punishment. We have to use all resources available to educate our youth to appreciate the diversity we live in and to respect the hallmark that America is a democratic nation that blindly stands in a non-discriminatory way for liberty and justice for all. We have to inculcate that this democratic principle applies to all Americans of all backgrounds. We must further resolve to advocate and make a national model the strong no-nonsense position of District Attorney McMahon to prosecute to the fullest extent as permitted by law the perpetrators of hate crime. We must send a loud clear message if you do the crime you will be apprehended, held accountable and spend time in jail.

We further thank Chief Corey, and his precinct commanders for their partnership and stellar communication with COJO and for supporting us in this difficult time. The extra patrols and visits have given the community confidence that we are in good hands. It is only through this partnership of District Attorney, elected officials and NYPD will we win the war on hate, bigotry and anti-Semitism.”

New York State Senator Andrew Lanza said, "People of faith and Staten Islanders of all traditions are rightfully alarmed at the heinous acts of hate that have recently occurred. Though evil acts such as the sickening attack on the seventh night of Hanukkah are intended to frighten people, I am confident that such despicable actions will instead strengthen our total resolve against hate and bigotry. I will stand shoulder to shoulder with District Attorney McMahon, Borough President Oddo, Congressman Rose, and the respected leaders of Staten Island’s Jewish and faith communities to ensure that the resources are in place to protect our places of worship and to ensure that those in law enforcement have the tools they need to root out hate and intolerance."

New York State Senator Diane Savino said, “These heinous and hateful attacks are becoming all too common in our State. We can continue to increase awareness, but most important we must show strength in our community to ensure we are working tirelessly at every level of government to stop future acts from occurring.”

New York State Assembly Member Michael Cusick said, “The rise of anti-Semitic violence across the city is deeply alarming and must be confronted by the entire community. Our community suffers when any part of it is attacked. These acts of domestic terrorism against our Jewish neighbors must come to an end, and I look forward to continuing to work with our partners in government and law enforcement to extricate the hatred and bigotry at the root of this violence.”

New York State Assembly Member Nicole Malliotakis said, “We must be proactive. Condemning these crimes is not enough. We must restore law and order in our city and state. How can we address the rise of anti-Semitism and other hate crimes when those who commit various degrees of coercion, menacing, stalking, assault, aggravated harassment and even aggravated assault of a child (whether as hate crimes and not) are freed with no bail? It shouldn’t take a murder or attempted murder for these horrific acts of hate to be taken seriously. I thank District Attorney McMahon for being a voice of reason in acknowledging the new laws adopted in Albany will make us less safe and need to be halted.”

New York State Assembly Member Michael Reilly said, “It is unfortunate that New York’s Jewish communities have been forced to live in fear during a time of year that should instead be spent surrounded by family in joyous celebration.  I personally find it downright appalling that anyone could express so much hate and bigotry.”

New York State Assembly Member Charles Fall said, "I commend Borough President Oddo, District Attorney McMahon and most importantly, local law enforcement for their quick action on protecting all Staten Islanders during this time of uncertainty. We all need to come together – federal, state, local officials and community – to stand with members of the Jewish community, combat anti-Semitism, and strategize how to prevent these heinous, despicable and cowardly acts of hate from occurring to anyone in the future. As a unified coalition, we need to focus on promoting inclusivity among our diverse population on Staten Island and maintain an open dialogue with members of the community to restore feelings of safety and hope.”

Minority Leader Steven Matteo said, “The rising frequency in anti-Semitic violence and crimes requires more than just expressions of outrage or empathy - it requires action. I stand with all Jewish people in Staten Island and across this City who have faced up to these attacks on their community with bravery and strength, and I commend DA McMahon and the NYPD, in particular Chief Kenneth Corey and our local precinct commanders, for their work in keeping our neighborhoods safe. I call on my fellow Staten Islanders to show solidarity with our Jewish friends and neighbors and  to speak up and make clear that anti-Semitism and hate have no place in our nation.”

New York City Council Member Debi Rose said, “Recent horrific acts of anti-Semitic terror require people of all backgrounds to stand united in condemnation. Hate and bigotry in any form is not acceptable and have no place in our society. These acts also require us to mobilize every resource to ensure the safety of those who have been targeted. I stand with my colleagues in government, as well as law enforcement and community leaders, in pledging to stamp out hate and protect our brothers and sisters here on Staten Island.”

New York City Council Member Joe Borelli said, “The rising frequency in anti-Semitic violence and crimes requires more than just expressions of outrage or empathy - it requires action. I stand with all Jewish people in Staten Island and across this City who have faced up to these attacks on their community with bravery and strength, and I commend DA McMahon and the NYPD, in particular Chief Kenneth Corey and our local precinct commanders, for their work in keeping our neighborhoods safe. I call on my fellow Staten Islanders to show solidarity with our Jewish friends and neighbors and  to speak up and make clear that anti-Semitism and hate have no place in our nation.”

Members of the District Attorney’s Staten Island Hate Crimes Task Force include:
District Attorney Michael E. McMahon, Co-Chair
Scott Maurer, Council of Jewish Organizations of Staten Island
Michelle Sabatino, SI Center for Independent Living
Rich Salinardi, Lifestyles for the Disabled
Carol Bullock, SI Pride Center
Lisa Sloan, SI Pride Center
Pastor Isaac Sorial, Virgin Mary & St George Orthodox Church
Emad Bekhit, Coptic Orthodox Church of ArchAngel Michael and Saint Mena
Irmal Singh, Staten Island Gurdwara Sahib
Dr Nithianda Chatterjie, Staten Island Gurdwara Sahib
Radakrishna Mohan, SI Hindu Temple
Imam Tahir Kukaj, Albanian Islamic Cultural Center
Karim Azzit, Islamic Center of SI
Suhail Muzaffar, Masjid Al Noor Islam Society
Claudette Duff, Integrity Senior Services
Lorna Wilson, Jamaica and Caribbean Organization of Staten Island
Dr. Sonia Byfield-Layne, Jamaica and Caribbean Organization of Staten Island
Tanisha Smith-Franks, UFT
Rev. Dr. Victor Brown, Mt. Sinai United Christian Church
Rev. Dr. Demetrius Carolina, Central Family Life Center 
Min. Dale Smith, Central Family Life Center
Zulma Cruz, Project Hospitality
Jeanne Zieff, Community Agency For Senior Citizens
Robert Crisalli, Community Agency For Senior Citizens
Bernice Fischer, AARP New Dorp Chapter
Carol Brown, AARP New Dorp Chapter
Louise Tsuitses, Chinese American Community Association
Clara Chang, Chinese American Community Association
Rev. Eric Kim, NY Korean Evangelical Church
Mendy Mirocznik, Council of Jewish Organizations of Staten Island