Statement by Jewish Federations of North America

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

Jewish Federations of North America

CJP, JCRC on Spate of Violent Antisemitism in New York

We are sickened and horrified by the attack Saturday night on Jews gathered to celebrate the seventh night of Hanukkah at a private home in Monsey, New York, a suburb of New York City.

According to media reports, at approximately 10:00 p.m., a man wielding a large knife attacked celebrants at the home of an Orthodox rabbi. Five people were injured and hospitalized. Shortly thereafter, the New York Police Department arrested a suspect.

This attack is the latest in a string of violence targeting Jews in and around New York City. And it comes on the heels of numerous antisemitic incidents in other parts of the United States and Europe.

This most recent incident occurred less than 24 hours ago; the investigation is ongoing. We do not yet know the motive of the suspect or many other crucial details relating to precisely what took place. We are in touch with federal, state, and local law enforcement, and at this time there is no indication that this incident in Monsey, New York has any direct connection to people or institutions in eastern Massachusetts. However, this is another in a long string of apparently antisemitic events that are cause for grave concern.

These attacks do not fit any one narrative. The perpetrators over the last year have been of different backgrounds and have expressed different politics. But what all these individuals share is their antisemitism; the inclination to blame Jews — and take action against us — for their own troubles and for the evils they ascribe to us.

The latest victims have been Orthodox Jews, those who are “visibly” Jewish to perpetrators of hatred. Make no mistake — these assaults are attacks on all Jews. We are all under attack. Today and always, we stand with our brothers and sisters of all denominations and affiliations. No one should feel intimidated to “hide” their Jewishness.

For the Jews of America, this moment is one in which our country is not living up to its promise, and it is a moment that requires leadership and support. As Jeremy Burton, JCRC’s executive director, wrote recently, antisemitism is not a Jewish problem; antisemitism is an American problem and a global, human problem. We need action — from within and beyond our own Jewish communities — to fight against antisemitism in all of its forms. We need governors, mayors, city councils, faith leaders, and our president to convene and help find solutions.

We refuse to normalize this. We will not become numb to Jewish people being victimized because of their identity.

We also want to remind everyone that security is a collective responsibility. CJP encourages leaders and members of the Jewish community to take proactive steps to improve safety and security at our institutions. Furthering relationships with law enforcement, enhancing physical security, and attending training are key components. The CJP Communal Security Initiative (CSI) continually provides free training and support. Please speak to the leaders at your institution about what they have done to improve safety and security, ask if they have attended or hosted a CJP training recently, and request that they sponsor and attend training. Find out how JCRC, CJP, and partner organizations invest to rid our schools, workplaces, sporting venues, and religious institutions of antisemitism.

If you witness antisemitism or are the victim of an act of antisemitism, report it to the ADL.

As we light our eighth Hanukkah candle tonight, these dark times challenge all of us. We pray for the recovery of the injured in Monsey and across New York City. We demand real, effective solutions to the scourge of antisemitism and hate that plagues our country, and we pray for a time when our holiday celebrations allow us to rejoice in our families, our traditions, and our faith, rather than sending messages of support to the latest victims of hatred and violence.

Anti-Defamation League and the Secure Community Network Statement on the Stabbing in Monsey, New York

(New York, NY - 29 December 2019) – ADL (the Anti-Defamation League) and the Secure Community Network (SCN), the official safety and security organization of The Jewish Federations of North America and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, issued the following statement regarding Saturday night’s stabbing attack at a rabbi’s home in Monsey, NY:

“We are horrified by the latest string of anti-Semitic attacks in New York, and the most recent attack against Jews in Monsey, NY.  We are committed to surging our joint resources to combat the growing spate of anti-Semitic attacks, particularly those taking place in New York State.  New York has a growing problem.

This is at least the 10th anti-Semitic incident to hit the New York area in just the last week. When will enough be enough?

It is time for leaders everywhere, Jewish and non-Jewish, to recognize that additional actions to protect the Jewish community are urgent. The Jewish community is under assault.  All of America must hear our cry.

These heinous attacks make something abundantly clear: the Jewish community needs greater protection, and we are committed to stepping up and working together to do so.”


ADL is a leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education and fighting hate online, ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate. More at
The Secure Community Network (SCN) is the official safety and security organization of the Jewish community in North America. A non-profit organization founded in 2004, SCN supports individuals and Jewish organizations through information and intelligence-sharing, security assessments of organizations and facilities, training, consultation and incident response. Working on behalf of 146 Federations, 50 partner organizations and over 300 independent communities as well as with other partners across sectors, the Secure Community Network works exclusively to ensure the safety, security, empowerment and resiliency of the Jewish people


Beloved Romemu Community,

As we approach the end of the year, we know each and every one of you aches with anguish and anger in the aftermath of the horrific acts of violence against our fellow Jews, especially last night's attack in Monsey, NY at the home of a Hasidic rabbi and his family. 

Antisemitism is on the rise and we must come together now, ever aware of the peril of silence in the face of evil, to name this dangerous pathology, that is, in the words of Frank Bruni, 'the oldest hatred that is forever young'. 

We must come together to preach an ideology of love and respect for each and every human being, gathering together to create a force to combat this vile and vicious hatred. We must come together that we may join hands and hearts with fellow Jews and all of our many allies to say no to antisemitism, no to blaming the victim, no to any and all apologetics that seek to 'understand' the targeting of Jews simply for being Jewish. 

We feel speechless but we are not silent. We feel paralyzed, but we choose movement over apathy, and connection over separation. The only way forward is toward one another. 

Our orthodox and Hasidic Jewish families are experiencing a wave of devastating antisemitic violence. We name this violence for what it is unequivocally, a wave of terror that demands our response. 

This is a moment to stand together against hate that is blind to humanity. We refuse blindness. 

We see our orthodox and Hasidic siblings who are in pain and afraid and need our support. We are with you.

We see our multi-faith, multi-racial, diversely-identified family of allies, who are reaching out to us and standing up for us in solidarity. We welcome your love. We need you.

We see our own mixed-multitude family of Jews grappling with how to best show up for each other in this moment. We hold the space for Jews of color, for black and African American Jews, for all people of color in Jewish spaces, who want to mourn, and pray, and simply be in community together. We refuse racism. We commit to responding to this crisis in ways that consider what it means for all of us to be safe.

We honor the spark of divinity in each and every human being. 

The miracle of finding a jar of oil sufficient for one night that lasted and lingered for eight nights was a lesson in the longing that Jews carried for two millennia of exile, that gave us strength to endure pogrom and persecution, pain and powerlessness. We lit candles to remind us to persevere, to continue to protest the darkness of ignorance that leads to hate, and heal the horrific hurt borne from that hatred.

Tomorrow night we will gather to light an extra candle, to look for and locate a new 'jar of oil' that might illuminate the days, weeks and months to come as we fight hatred here, in the safest of all of our many exilic homes. We will gather as Jews, together with our many allies and community members who are not Jewish, to proclaim our solidarity, and our commitment to safety for all of G-d's children. We remind ourselves that we are not alone, that we show up for one another, and that together, we are stronger than hate.