AT A GLANCE
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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Anti-Semitic violence has left many people on edge.
But despite the attacks, members of the Jewish community are vowing to stay strong to fight hate, CBS2’s Kiran Dhillon reported Monday.
For many of the shoppers at Zabar’s, a popular Jewish specialty store on the Upper West Side, Saturday night’s synagogue attack up in the Rockland County town of Monsey was the main thing occupying their minds.
“I can’t imagine anything more horrible,” Richard Cohen said.
Cohen said he’s never seen so many anti-Semitic incidents in the more than 40 years he’s lived in New York City. The rise has him fearing for his safety.
“Scared that I would go in to some shul synagogue and that that would happen,” Cohen said.
Even though the attack happened upstate, many people on the Upper West Side said they’re devastated by what took place, adding they’re sending their thoughts and prayers to those who were impacted.
And during a round-table discussion with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand at Ramapo Town Hall on Monday, two mothers expressed their concern for the safety of their sons.
“He says to me, ‘I have to take my yarmulke off. I’m afraid. There have been too many incidents here in New York state,'” one mother said.
“When my son goes back to school tomorrow. Is he safe?” the other woman added.
Since Dec. 8 alone, there have been nine anti-Semitic attacks in New York City. Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced new initiatives to stem the violence, including more NYPD officers at places of worship, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo has instructed state police to increase patrols of Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods.
But for some local lawmakers, it’s not enough. Four sent a letter to the governor, requesting the National Guard’s assistance in dealing with the hate.
“Every single house of worship, every single Jewish school, every single place of gathering of visibly Orthodox Jews needs to be protected,” City Councilman Kalman Yeger said.
Still, despite Saturday’s attack, members of the Jewish community are vowing to remain resilient.
“You can’t be turned away from living your life because of this fear,” Cohen said.
They said while more protection is needed, the best way to conquer hate is with love.
Watch Ali Bauman’s report —
On Monday night, sheriff K9s canvassed the outside of the Jewish Community Campus in West Nyack. Inside, dozens of flashlights shined in a symbol of unwavering resilience.
“Antisemitism grows and prospers when people of goodwill are silent. We will not be silent,” Sen. Chuck Schumer said.
In Rockland County, parents are now tasked with teaching their children strength in the face of adversity, CBS2’s Ali Bauman reports.
“You never know who’s gonna hate you for being the person that you are,” Marlee Shinder, of New City, said.
“We just hope that all of us coming together today can make a difference,” New City resident Rachel Shinder said.