Thousands of Jews and their allies across the region marched in solidarity from lower Manhattan across the Brooklyn Bridge on Sunday. The "No Hate, No Fear" march was organized after an increase in anti-Semitic attacks in New York, including a stabbing rampage at an upstate rabbi's home during Hanukkah.
"The attacks have been primarily on those who are very visibly observant and visibly Jewish," Elisha Wiesel, son of the late Holocaust survivor and author, Elie Wiesel, told Gothamist/WNYC. " So many secular Jews have come here today who don't necessarily wear fringes or tzitzit or yarmulkes or are not visible, and yet they have shown up today because we stand as one."
The march started at Foley Square, where Governor Andrew Cuomo told the crowd that "over 10,000 people have shown up to show support and love for the Jewish community. What has happened in Brooklyn, what has happened in Monsey, New York was an attack on every New Yorker. And every New Yorker has felt the pain. Discrimination, racism, anti-Semitism is repugnant to every value that every New Yorker holds dear. And it's repugnant to every value that this country represents. Racism and anti-Semitism is anti-American and we have to remember that."
Cuomo also announced that there would be an additional $45 million in funding to "non-public schools and religious institutions for security" and urged people to report suspected bias incidents.
"If any New Yorker has any information about a possible attack or an attack that has happened, we ask them to be active and to help us thwart these attacks," Cuomo said. "We have a 1-800 number - 1-877-NO-HATE-NY. If you have any information, we have that tip line open, let's all stand together and united."
Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, blamed the rise in anti-Semitism in part on social media: "Look at Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or any of these services. We all use them. But with a click or a swipe, you can find horrifying anti-Semitism that would make the Nazis proud, all because those companies' business models depend on those clicks and swipes. But it needs to end. Silicon Valley [needs] to step up and expel the anti-Semites. We need to stop hate for profit."
The march concluded on the other side of the Brooklyn Bridge at Cadman Plaza, but participant Pamela Lotenberg said she wanted the march to continue to Crown Heights.
"Hopefully standing shoulder to shoulder with the Haredi community, which are the super Orthodox community who don't look anything like me, who don't sound anything like me, but I just want to stand shoulder to shoulder all of us Jews and allies today because we have to," Lotenberg said.
Reporting by Ilya Maritz / WNYC