Antisemitism—Closer to Home

Last week, we talked about Ye (formerly Kanye West), his antisemitic rantings, and the international responses. Likely, you also heard about the hateful messaging on the SUNY Albany campus last week. Sadly, we’ve been very busy since.

Last Saturday night, there was racist activity at the Forts Ferry elementary school and an antisemitic incident in Albany (a group of teens on bikes accosted a group of kids walking home from synagogue).

Yesterday, the FBI sent out a warning about a threat directed at New Jersey synagogues.

Campus police took the lead on the SUNY situation with our behind-the-scenes support. The perpetrator was found and arrested.

With the New Jersey case, we were assured by our friends at the New York State police and our local FBI office that there were no known threats for New York State. This morning, we learned that the responsible person in New Jersey had been identified and arrested.

For the racist incident, we reached out to the school principal to let him know that the Jewish community stands with him against hatred.

For the Albany incident, we’ve been working with the Albany police, the families, and the synagogues. We’ve spoken with our City Councilwoman, the Mayor, and the Chief of Police, and everyone is taking this very seriously. We will have additional police presence during known Shabbat walking hours.

We recently joined Albany County’s new Threat Assessment Coordination Team (AC-TACT) to partner with law enforcement and other religious and civic community organizations. We will be partnering with Community Security Services (CSS) to offer additional training programs for our synagogues and institutions.

As always, Jewish Federation is here to liaise between our community and all levels of law enforcement.

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