NEW YORK (JTA) — A rash of recent anti-Semitic incidents in Brooklyn have provoked a variety of responses in the Jewish community and from officials. This is because the causes of the problem are hard to diagnose: the
Is it the local effect of a national rise in anti-Semitism? The resurfacing of old resentments? Are Jews being scapegoated for the impact of gentrification? Is the persistent influence of anti-Semitic leaders to blame? Or is it just kids acting out?
On a single night, Nov. 8, for example, surveillance video captured a man throwing a brick through the window of a Hasidic girls’ school in Crown Heights. On the same night in the Borough Park neighborhood, at least three identifiably Orthodox men were punched by assailants. Also in Borough Park, multiple Orthodox Jews in Borough Park had eggs thrown at them over the weekend.
Also on Nov. 8, a 16-year-old boy turned himself in to police and was arrested in connection with at least three attacks on Jews. He was charged with two counts of aggravated harassment.
Anti-Semitic incidents in the city have increased significantly this year, according to data from the New York Police Department. Through September, there have been 163 reported incidents, up from 108 over the same period last year — an increase of 50 percent. Anti-Semitic incidents make up a majority of reported hate crimes in New York City. The Mayor’s Office announced that it had hired Deborah Lauter, a former ADL executive, to head its new Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes.
Several officials said that Orthodox Jews are bearing the brunt of a rising climate of anti-Semitism because they appear visibly Jewish and become obvious targets for those who want to hurt Jews.