Rockaway electeds' partnership with Simon Wiesenthal Center brings second Anti-Semitic town hall to community

In the continuing fight to end the Anti-Semitic attacks that have been on the rise across the city, State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. and Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato are once again partnering with the Simon Wiesenthal Center to bring an educational town hall to the Rockaways that will discuss the current state of hate crimes and what is being done to prevent them.

The next town hall will take place on Thursday, March 5, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Bayswater Jewish Center, located at 2355 Healy Avenue, Far Rockaway. The first town hall took place at the West End Temple in February.

Attendees of the town hall will receive information and resources on what is actually considered a hate crime and what to do if they see one taking place, or are the victim of a hate crime.

The panel at the town hall will include Holocaust survivor Mark Schonwetter who will be speaking on his experience with Anti-Semitism, as well as Carly Korman, Simon Wiesenthal Center’s College Coordinator; Michael Brovner, Deputy Chief of Gang Violence and Hate Crimes; and a representative from the 101st Police Precinct.

“It is terrible that Anti-Semitism and other forms of hate crimes are on the rise both locally and nationally,” Addabbo said. “It is our responsibility to come together as a community to help root out this hate. I believe the best way to get rid hatred against large groups of people is through education, and a town hall like this one is a great way to inform the people of not only what these hateful messages mean, but also what we are doing to ensure that all of our community members remain safe. I want to thank Assemblywoman Pheffer Amato for once again partnering with me on an important community event.”

An incident at the Silver Gull Beach Club in Breezy Point last year where Anti-Semitic graffiti was found sparked this partnership between the Simon Wiesenthal Center, local elected officials and the police department to combat Anti-Semitism and hate.

“We can start building from the success of our first Town Hall for Action which created a framework for these discussions which our community needs,” Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato said. “This next Town Hall, featuring a Holocaust survivor, will illuminate even further the direct effect that hatred and bigotry has on families and communities. Being able to hear directly from a survivor spotlights that these are not abstract terms, but real life actions that when left unchecked can have a terrible impact and ruin people’s lives and communities.”

“The Simon Wiesenthal Center is very happy to be partnering with Senator Joseph Addabbo and Assembly member Stacey Pheffer Amato on this critical series of forums in their districts making sure that the residents of the Rockaway’s are educated and informed about the rise of anti- Semitic and hate crimes in the region and know what role they can individually play in helping combat these trends,” said Michael Cohen, Eastern Director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. “Ever since the Labor Day attacks on the Silver Gull Beach Club and on the Belle Harbor beaches, the Senator and Assembly member have demonstrated true leadership in this area and we look forward to our continued collaboration in proactively fighting back on all forms of hate.”

Those interested in attending are asked to RSVP with Pheffer Amato’s office by calling 718-945-9550.