A string of New York City progressive activists, Jewish advocacy groups and political candidates echoed on Monday calls to scale back the increased police protection of Jewish sites instituted after a series of violent assaults.
In the latest in a series of attacks against Jewish institutions in the Bronx borough of New York, the Riverdale Jewish Center (RJC) was targeted by a stone-throwing assailant in the early hours of Monday morning, sustaining damage to windows.
The attack was the seventh incident in recent days — following similar incidents at nearby Jewish institutions, including Chabad of Riverdale, Young Israel of Riverdale and the Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel of Riverdale — and the third time the RJC itself was targeted, despite an increased police presence in the area.
The RJC was first targeted by the assailant on Thursday night, when thrown rocks smashed the synagogue’s glass doors, and then again on Saturday night along with the three other Jewish institutions.
In response to the increased police protection of Jewish sites in the area, Sasha Parsley Kesler, the Special Projects Manager to the Chief of Staff at NYC Department of Social Services, issued a lengthy Twitter thread that questioned the use of enhanced security for the Jewish community.
While she says she was was pained by the violence and noted the long history of attacks on Jewish institutions, she said, “I am also [imagining] another way to respond to this violence, one that does not invite further militarized policing of our streets & communities.”
“I understand the gut reaction in white Jewish communities to look to police as our protectors,” she went on. “And we all know that more policing does not make us ALL safer. Riverdale is a diverse community — I do not want the attempts to secure my safety to threaten that of others.”
Read the complete article at: The Jewish Voices
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