December came in with a lot of bad news from a variety of places. The first and most disturbing were the terrible tragedies occurring throughout the tristate area, with anti-Semitic attacks and violence against Jews that we have not seen in this country, actually more reminiscent of pogrom-filled Europe rather than the United States.
From the shooting attacks at the kosher grocery in Jersey City, and subsequent deaths of those Jewish souls who were caught by this murderous hater, to the machete attacks in Monsey on Chanukah during what should have been a joyous celebration, we Jews have had more than our fill of tragedies this past month.
These attacks were more violent than many other antisemitic attacks that have been taking place all over the area. Jew haters obviously believe that they can get away with attacking Jews, whether by verbal abuse, physical abuse, or defacing synagogues or other Jewish property throughout the area.
On Sunday, we fought back when over 25,000 people came into downtown Manhattan to decry what is going on in a city where this should never have happened. The march was also intended to put pressure on our political officials to do something about this in whatever way is necessary to make sure that those responsible are punished to the full extent of the law and that new security measures are put into place to not only halt the violence but to try and figure out where this is all coming from and create solutions for this craze.
Every shul and yeshiva in our area is taking this situation seriously and reconfiguring the security and safeguards necessary to keep everyone safe in our shuls and schools. Thank goodness, the police are also taking this situation seriously. They are providing tremendous support to our community and the other Jewish communities around the tristate area to not only enforce the necessary safeguards but to try and round up instigators of this heinous stream of antisemitism. Lay leaders of various communities are standing up to condemn antisemitism and to emphasize that they will not tolerate it emanating from their neighborhoods.
In the interim, it is incumbent on the rest of us to be aware of our surroundings and be more careful and diligent than usual of where our children are going and the safety of those areas. Hopefully, this terrible spate of antisemitism will soon be stopped and those thinking they can randomly attack others without punishment will see that not only will they be caught, but that the punishments are severe. Until that time, though, caution is the name of the game for all of us.
Anessa Cohen lives in Cedarhurst and is a licensed real-estate broker (Anessa V Cohen Realty) and a licensed N.Y.S. loan officer (FM Home Loans) with over 20 years of experience offering full-service residential, commercial, and management real-estate services as well as mortgage services. She can be reached at 516-569-5007 or via her website, www.AVCrealty.com. Readers are encouraged to send questions or comments to anessa@AVCrealty.com.