NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo is calling for increased police presence in Jewish neighborhoods during Yom Kippur.
This comes as hate crimes against those of Jewish faith have risen in recent months, CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez reported Monday.
One synagogue was a victim of hate when kids were seen smashing windows on Rosh Hashanah.
The incident was part of a rising number of anti-Semitic crimes in the city. The NYPD said so far this year there have been 170, compared to 111 last year at this time, a 53% increase. One of the most shocking happened in August when Abraham Gopin was hit in the face with a huge paving stone. He suffered a broken nose, bruises and had two teeth knocked out. An arrest was eventually made in the case.
All of that has prompted the governor and other local leaders to fortify certain communities in time for Yom Kippur, which begins Tuesday.
“I think it’s necessary at this point, unfortunately, because things have gone from bad to worse,” said Linda Sedacka of Flatbush. “Security should not be a luxury. It should be a basic necessity that everybody deserves.”
The High Holy Days in New York City in recent years have been met with increased security, including expanded police foot patrols and counter terrorism teams.
This year’s security may be even more pronounced. Cuomo is ordering state police to increase its patrols around synagogues and religious centers during the holiday.
The NYPD says it will coordinate with state police.
The city will also have a patrol car with two police officers stationed at every synagogue 24/7 from when Yom Kippur starts Tuesday at sundown to sundown on Wednesday.
“Our steady sectors are also going to be plugged in and going by the synagogues and making sure that if there is anything that needs to be addressed they will be there to take care of it,” NYPD Chief of Patrol Rodney Harrison said.
City Councilman Chaim Deutsch told Sanchez the Jewish community needs security beyond the High Holy Days. He met with local leaders late Monday afternoon to hear their concerns.
“We demand increased security. No one should have to say after a holiday or after a weekend that I have not seen a cop,” Deutsch said.
Some community leaders said the answer isn’t just more cops.
“The citizens, themselves, should come out and be more proactive and if they see something going on they should speak to somebody,” said Larry Spiewak of Beth El Jewish Center of Flatbush.
Councilman Deutsch said he’ll be meeting with NYPD brass on Tuesday, adding he’ll share the community input he received today, in the hope of sparking positive change.