Local Jewish Community Gathers To Send Message Of Solidarity After Stabbing At New York Hanukkah Party

Dec 29, 2019, 5:45 PM | Updated: 7:24 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Members of Utah’s Jewish community came together to send a message of solidarity and condemn an attack during a Hanukkah party at a rabbi’s home in New York.

Five people were injured after a man entered the New York home and began stabbing people Saturday night, according to police and witnesses.

“I, for one, am fed up with this attitude and I’m sick and tired of addressing tragedies within attacks against Jews,” said Rabbi Avremi Zippel, program director of Chabad Lubavitch of Utah.

Speaking of Saturday night’s attack, Zippel said it’s no coincidence the latest in the series of attacks happens during Hanukkah.

“It comes on the heels of what has been almost ten days of non-stop, small, what seem to be insignificant incidents that don’t necessarily grab eyeballs in the press but there seems to be a repeated pattern specifically on the East Coast in larger Jewish communities of acts of hatred and intolerance and bigotry towards Jews in a very visible fashion,” Zippel said.

He said there is concern amongst many considering the attacks are happening in cities with large Jewish communities where one would expect more religious tolerance and acceptance.

“It’s sad to me that Jews in Salt Lake City feel safer and more comfortable to walk the streets as Jews than they do in Brooklyn, New York,” Zippel said. “To light a menorah tonight in the heart of Salt Lake City, kiddie corner with the LDS temple, I couldn’t feel safer and more proud to do that. It’s sad for me that my family and my colleagues that I know in Brooklyn in New York, in a private home lighting the menorah last night were subject to this attack.”

The only solution, Zippel said, is to face cowardice with courage and resilience.

“Tonight, in our community and in thousands of communities around the country and around the world, we will be lighting the last candle on the menorah in the most public fashion possible to send that message that we will never cower or be afraid in the face of hate,” Zippel said.

The community of all faiths is invited to come and join in tonight’s ceremony at Abravanel Hall at 7 p.m.

The United Jewish Federation of Utah also released a statement Sunday condemning the attacks and calling for a special meeting to address the issue on Jan. 22, 2020, at 6:30 p.m. at the Jewish Community Center.

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Local Jewish Community Gathers To Send Message Of Solidarity After Stabbing At New York Hanukkah Party