February 21, 2020

‘Not Going Anywhere’ Jews March in Brooklyn to Express Solidarity Against Anti-Semitism

They came from Boston, Philadelphia and even from Cleveland.

On Jan. 5, they converged on Cadman Plaza Park in downtown Brooklyn to publicly proclaim that even in the face of an unprecedented number of violent attacks in the past two weeks, Jews are here, united and not going anywhere.

The crowd of 25,000 was overwhelmingly comprised of people who appeared to be liberal Jews, although there were Chabadniks waving “Moshiach” flags too.

The march, titled “No Hate, No Fear,” began in lower Manhattan and the group walked across the Brooklyn Bridge to to the park. Cobbled together over just a few days by UJA-Federation of New York and the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York (NYJCRC), additional sponsors included the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the American Jewish Committee and the New York Board of Rabbis, along with dozens of smaller Jewish organizations and synagogues.

In a statement ahead of the rally, Jewish Council of Public Affairs Chair Cheryl Fishbein and NYJCRC CEO Michael Miller issued a statement saying: “The 1.5 million Jews of our great city and region will not stand down. We will not be intimidated. Join us as we say no to hate and no to fear.”

Speaking at the rally ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said, “New York is no place for hate…Across the country anti-Semitic incidents doubled in the last three years and in New York State we’ve seen a 55 percent increase in 2018, and I think it will be even bigger in 2019. It’s got to stop.”

Referring to the daily attacks against Charedi Jews in Brooklyn, in Monsey N.Y. and in Jersey City, N.J., Greenblatt said, “Make no mistake, I may not being wearing a black coat or black hat but these are my Jewish brothers and sisters. These are members of my family…..whether you’re Satmar or Chasidic, Conservative, Reform, Jews of color or Jews by choice, we are all a Jewish people.”

Leaders of many faith and ethnic communities came to show support, as did elected officials. Pastor Gil Monrose, leader of Mt. Zion Church of God 7th Day in Brooklyn, and a leader of interfaith coalitions in the borough said of marching across the Brooklyn Bridge, “Every step of the way we walked for those who are attacked; for those who lost their lives. We walk against the criminal elements of our society who hate the way that we live. We agree that hate will not win. Every step that we walk we walk for each other.”

Also in the crowd was Professor Deborah Lipstadt, who came in from Washington for the day because “I had to be here,” she told the Journal.

Performers included formerly religious reggae-rocker Matisyahu, who closed out the rally singing his songs “One Day” and “Jerusalem.”

Judith Zagelbaum took a bus from the Boston area to join the march. “We want to stand with our Jewish brethren in New York,” she said. “If it can happen there it can happen to any of us.”

Matt Resnick walked over from just a few blocks away. “It’s a little crazy to think that things are happening in our neighborhood,” he said. “Even after the Holocaust we’re not making progress. Why are these things still happening? Why is there still this violence, especially aimed at Jews?”