Jewish leaders and public officials will respond today to several attacks on the Jewish communities across the country, calling for stricter law enforcement and public awareness.
Rabbi Marvin Hier, dean and founder of Simon Wiesenthal Center, plans today to urge President Donald Trump to instruct the FBI to create a special task force in response to a series of attacks against Jews and their religious institutions.
“This ongoing epidemic of anti-Semitic attacks needs to be treated,” Hier said Sunday. “Enough is enough. Jews should not have to fear for their lives in America to go their houses of worship.”
Hier delivered one of three benedictions following Trump’s 2017 swearing-in.
Trump has already spoken out against the attacks on Twitter, saying, “The anti-Semitic attack in Monsey, New York, on the 7th night of Hanukkah last night is horrific. We must all come together to fight, confront, and eradicate the evil scourge of anti-Semitism. Melania and I wish the victims a quick and full recovery.”
Los Angeles police also said today that they are increasing patrols near synagogues in the area “out of an abundance of caution” after a man stabbed five people celebrating Hanukkah in New York.
“The LAPD stands with members of our Jewish community,” Police Chief Michel Moore tweeted Sunday. “Out of an abundance of caution, we have increased patrols in and around Jewish communities and places of worship in response to last nights horrific anti-Semitic attack in New York.
Hier’s comments came one day after five people were hospitalized as the result of a machete attack at the home of a rabbi in Monsey, New York, 36 miles north of New York City. All but one of the victims had been released from the hospital by Sunday afternoon, according to The New York Times.
A 38-year-old suspect was later arrested in Harlem in connection with the attack.