BROOKLYN — Crowds came in solidarity to show their support for the five victims of Monsey and to celebrate the last night of Hanukkah as Mayor Bill de Blasio lit a candle on what is arguably the largest menorah in the world in Grand Army Plaza.
“We are not here to cry, to mourn what keeps happening,” Abby Stein, the author of Becoming Eve and a Jewish community leader, told PIX11 News.
“But most importantly to show solidarity and a show of celebration together,” she added.
Just an hour earlier Mayor de Blasio, Police Commissioner Dermot Shea, Rabbi Joseph Potasnik and other leaders of the faith community gathered at the main branch of the Brooklyn Public Library to speak out against the increase in anti-Semitic attacks in the city , eight in recent days.
The mayor announced the creation of new multi-ethnic interfaith neighborhood safety coalitions, new department of education lesson plans and an increase in NYPD patrols.
“There will be additional light towers set up,” Mayor de Blasio said at the news conference. “We have 15 up, six more are coming to give people the sense of safety and security they deserve,” he added.
“We need to call out hate when it is spoken before it gets to a point like this,” Dermot Shea, NYC Police Commissioner, said at the news conference.
“We need to speak openly in the Police Department and with leaders throughout New York Cityy.”
“Love will overcome hate and we will light the menorah and stand with the Jewish community against hate,” Letitia James, New York State Attorney General, said.
The city will also launch a series of ad campaigns highlighting the city’s diversity something those attending the menorah lighting applauded.
“Even in the face of all this destruction, we’re still going to celebrate,” Fox Yarden, a Park Slope resident, told PIX11 News.
“We’re still going to live our life to the fullest.”