Yesterday evening during a Hanukkah celebration, a man with a knife attacked the home of Rabbi Chaim Leibish Rottenberg in Monsey, New York and stabbed five people. We join with the entire Jewish community in expressing outrage at this attack, which is part of a growing epidemic of anti-Semitic violence. It is incomprehensible to think that we are not safe in a home, a supermarket, or a sanctuary for prayer. It is unacceptable.
Addressing this scourge must be the highest priority of government officials and communal organizations. In Monsey, elected officials have already made commitments to redouble efforts to patrol neighborhoods and reinforce its police presence. Steve Gold, co-president of the Jewish Federation of Rockland County, joined local Jewish leaders and New York Governor Cuomo at a press conference today to focus attention on these efforts.
We have much work to do in this arena. However, it is important at this moment for the Jewish community to be aware of the critical work that is already underway to increase the security of our community.
Federations across North America have been leading the efforts to secure their local communities, raising the funds needed to build comprehensive community security initiatives. These efforts, which include preparedness training and facility hardening, have accelerated over the past 18 months and will continue to be increased until the community is fully secure.
JFNA’s safety and security efforts – at a national level – are led by the Secure Community Network (SCN), which has dramatically increased capacity to support Federation Security Directors, as well as serve the vast majority of Federations and communities that do not have such a resource but are increasingly committed and working to address security.
With regard to the ongoing security situation in Monsey, NY, SCN is coordinating with national and local partners, Federation Security Directors and security liaisons as well as law enforcement. We are grateful for their ongoing support. SCN’s Duty Desk and Operations Team will continue to monitor the situation and coordinate as well.
Mark Wilf, Chair, Board of Trustees
Eric D. Fingerhut, President and CEO