HACPAC Hosts Forum on Inclusivity in Response to NJ Anti-Semetic Crimes
This Tuesday afternoon, the Hackensack Performing Arts Center was the host site of a forum on the recent string of Anti-Semetic hate crimes. The forum features local and federal elected officials, clergy members and law enforcement officials.
“I am so grateful to everyone who came here today, with a shared purpose, to remind people that we all have more in common, and more that unites us than divides us. Hackensack is a great place because of its diversity, not in spite of it, and I want to thank everyone who shares these truths in their communities and homes,” said Mayor John Labrosse, who led the pledge of allegiance. “We grieve together for the victims of Anti-Semetic and all hate crimes, and need to come together to teach our kids and friends to never give in to hate.”
“In the United States and in New Jersey, we are united not only by fighting hate and promoting love, but by fighting darkness and spreading love,” said Mendy Kaminker, Rabbi of Chabad of Hackensack,
before leading a prayer service. “When people are put under siege, they come together. Differences are put aside and past disagreements are forgotten. Indeed, we are all one.”
“The recent Anti-Semetic Hanukkah rampage in Monsey was the 10th Anti-semetic attack in our region in a week. Combined with the terrorism in Jersey City, it was 16th incident of Anti-Semitism in a month,”
said Congressman Bill Pascrell. “Josh (Gottheimer) and I are committed to protecting the people here from attacks, foreign and domestic.”\
“This weekend, I saw the most beautiful thing. It was raining, but still a relatively large group of people were holding a rally and holding signs which said ‘We stand with our Jewish neighbors, Hate has no home in Bergenfield’”
said Freeholder Tracy Zur. “Everyone, regardless of culture, religion, nation of origin, everyone has something amazing to contribute to the tapestry of Bergen County.”
“Since 2016 we have seen an uptick in hate crimes,” said Sheriff Anthony Cureton. “This is something we cannot simply choose to ignore. We acknowledge
and take action to combat it, because if we don’t, we will continue to see further divisions, greater emphasis on us vs. them, a rising level of hate and increased fear.”
Cureton, as well as other local law enforcement leaders in New Jersey, deployed additional resources to Jewish cultural centers over recent weeks. He spoke of the importance of the Rabbi in Monsey noticing the license plate of the attacker, which led to the domestic terrorist’s arrest.
“It was the African American community and Jewish American community that locked arms in common purpose [after the Springfield race riots of 1908.] Today as we face new tensions, where hate is fueled by social media and cable news, we cannot allow discrimination and Anti-Semitism to seep into our own ranks,” said Congressman Josh Gottheimer.
“I was glad to see so many people from different communities come together at HACPAC to fight the good fight against hate,” said Hackensack Deputy Mayor David Sims. “My heart goes out to everyone killed or wounded in the senseless hate crimes that have taken place recently. By speaking out, we hope we can root out hate.”
Also present were Bergen County Freeholder David Ganz, Assemblymembers Valerie Vainieri-Huttle, Gary Schaer and Lisa Swain, Bergen County NAACP Chair Junius Carter, President of the North Jersey Board of Rabbis David Fine, Reverend Dr. Marilyn Monroe Harris of the First Baptist Church of Teaneck, Hackensack Councilman Leo Battaglia, North Jersey Jewish Business Alliance, Imam Mohammad Charafand State Troopers NCO Association.
Video of the forum can be found on Congressman Gottheimer’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/RepJoshG/videos/676707156195720/UzpfSTEzNDg2ODc0Mzg6MTAyMjIwMDQyODExMTk5NTg/?comment_id=10222008437103855¬if_id=1578486253775154¬if_t=comment_mention