Rockaway elected officials, Simon Wiesenthal Center bring second anti-Semitism town hall to community

Courtesy of Addabbo’s office

In the continuing fight to end the surge of anti-Semitic attacks across the city, state Senator Joseph Addabbo and Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato are once again partnering with the Simon Wiesenthal Center to bring an educational town hall to the Rockaways that will discuss the current state of hate crimes and what is being done to prevent them.

The town hall will take place at the Bayswater Jewish Center, located at 2355 Healy Ave., in Far Rockaway, on Thursday, March 5, from 6 to 8 p.m.

“It is terrible that anti-Semitism and other forms of hate crimes are on the rise both locally and nationally,” Addabbo said. “It is our responsibility to come together as a community to help root out this hate. I believe the best way to get rid of hatred against large groups of people is through education, and a town hall like this one is a great way to inform the people of not only what these hateful messages mean, but also what we are doing to ensure that all of our community members remain safe.”

The panel at the town hall will include Holocaust survivor Mark Schonwetter, who will be speaking on his experience with anti-Semitism, as well as Simon Wiesenthal Center’s College Coordinator Carly Korman and NYPD Deputy Chief Michael Brovner of the Gang Violence and Hate Crimes unit.

“We can start building from the success of our first Town Hall for Action which created a framework for these discussions which our community needs,” Pheffer Amato said. “The next town hall, featuring a Holocaust survivor, will illuminate even further the direct effect that hatred and bigotry has on families and communities. Being able to hear directly from a survivor spotlights that these are not abstract terms, but real-life actions that when left unchecked can have a terrible impact and ruin people’s lives and communities.”

An incident at the Silver Gull Beach Club in Breezy Point last year where anti-Semitic graffiti was found sparked the partnership between the Simon Wiesenthal Center, local elected officials and the police department to combat anti-Semitism and hate.

“The Simon Wiesenthal Center is very happy to be partnering with Senator Joseph Addabbo and Assembly members Stacey Pheffer Amato on this critical series of forums in their district making sure the residents of the Rockaways are educated and informed about the rise of anti-Semitism and hate crimes in the region and know what role they can individually play in helping combat these trends,” Simon Wiesenthal Center Eastern Director Michael Cohen said. “Ever since the Labor Day attacks on the Silver Gull Beach Club and on the Belle Harbor beaches, the Senator and Assembly member have demonstrated true leadership in this area and we look forward to our continued collaboration in proactively fighting back on all forms of hate.”