Nashville Jewish community ‘grieved and outraged’ by Hanukkah party attack in New York

Posted at 12:58 PM, Dec 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-30 16:09:13-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF)  — The Jewish Federation of Nashville and Middle Tennessee has released a statement after five people celebrating Hanukkah were stabbed in New York.

The attack on the seventh night of Hanukkah occurred amid a series of violent attacks targeting Jews in the region that have led to increased security, particularly around religious gatherings. The suspect is facing federal hate crimes charges.

On Monday, the Jewish Federation of Nashville and Middle Tennessee addressed the attack, saying:

The Jewish Federation of Nashville and Middle Tennessee is grieved and outraged by the recent attack on a Hanukkah party in New York that left five people injured. This attack was the most vicious and visible, but only the most recent in a string of other attacks. We stand in solidarity with all the victims of hate, and pledge to intensify our efforts to combat anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry and hate. Antisemitism is perhaps the oldest form of hate and often the canary in the mine. We know that all forms of racism and bigotry are interconnected and that it is impossible to combat one without confronting them all. We will continue to build and strengthen relationships that provide the courage and support needed to stand up together to be stronger than hate.

The Jewish Federation also said they’ve begun a more focused effort to help congregations address security concerns.

Security at our local congregations has been a concern for some time, and about a year ago we began a more focused effort to provide necessary funding to help congregations address the immediate need for increased security. Local congregations have been implementing these enhanced security measures for the past year. The Jewish Federation has pledged to continue to provide the community leadership in raising funds to address ongoing and growing security concerns.

They also have two events planned in the coming months that address antisemitism:

  • Monday, February 10, 7-8 p.m. -- Rabbi Jeffrey Myers, of the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, will speak at The Temple and share his eyewitness account of the mass shooting committed during a worship service there.
  • Tuesday, March 31, 7 p.m. -- Deborah Lipstadt, Author, “Antisemitism Here and Now” will speak at the Student Life Center at Vanderbilt University.