A letter to public officials: How to combat hate post-Jersey City

17 Dec 2019 | 08:17

    The shooters in the Dec. 10 targeted attack on a Jewish community store in Jersey City subscribed to a radical ideology, but one of them also participated in racist social media tirades against Jews. This reminds us that the hateful rhetoric spewed on social media against Hasidim in Ocean, Bergen, Rockland, Orange and Sullivan counties paints a dangerous target on the backs of Jews.

    If, God forbid, anything like the Jersey City incident were to happen in one of the listed counties, no observer would be able to say that "we didn't see it coming." There are specific steps that public officials and political leaders can take to help halt the spread of bigotry against Orthodox Jews and Hasidim.

    Many elected officials in suburban New York and New Jersey rarely if ever show up at community events in the Hasidic community, and when they do, it is kept secret from the rest of the public. The clearest way to see this, is to take note that few if any of the hundreds of community photos that those officials post on social media showcases officials posing with Hasidim. Officials do this to avoid backlash, which is proof that officials are aware that anti-Hasidic bigotry is rampant at the corners of their own backyard.

    The mission of the Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Council (OJPAC) is to counter the defamation and generalization of the Orthodox Jewish community. Please consider supporting our efforts by following us on Twitter/Facebook (@OJPAC).

    Thank you for reading.

    Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Council