US Jewish Civil Rights Group Boosts Anti-Bias Programs in Brooklyn Schools in Response to Wave of Antisemitic Assaults
With violent attacks on Orthodox Jews in the Williamsburg, Crown Heights and Borough Park sections of Brooklyn showing no signs of abating, one of the country’s leading Jewish organizations announced on Tuesday that it was doubling its provision of anti-bias educational programs to schools in the New York City borough.
Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday alongside Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams, as well as local faith leaders and elected officials, Jonathan Greenblatt — CEO of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) — appealed for a swift end to the antisemitic assaults, which have risen 63 percent over the last year, according to figures from the New York Police Department.
“The repeated violence and harassment of Orthodox Jews in this borough is unacceptable and must stop now,” Greenblatt declared. “Since most hate crimes are born of ignorance for the ‘other,’ we believe that education, especially in the early years, can go a long way to building a foundation for understanding and a respect for diversity.”
Borough President Adams stated that “since extremist, hate-filled rhetoric has become awakened and stoked across this country — particularly in Crown Heights right here in Brooklyn — this unacceptable behavior is increasingly becoming the norm for some.”
Continued Adams: “Our children become indoctrinated and tainted in the process.”
ADL describes its “No Place for Hate” schools initiative as “a school climate improvement program that provides K-12 grade schools with an organizing framework for combating bias, bullying and hatred, leading to long-term solutions for creating and maintaining a positive and equitable climate.”
The ADL’s announcement came as the FBI released its annual report on hate crimes for 2018, which revealed that Jews were the target of 57 percent of religious hate crimes, with Muslims next at 14.6 percent.
The report, which collected data from just over half the country’s police departments, logged 7,120 hate crimes in 2018, reflecting a decrease from 2018 of less than one percent.