The city will be lit up in white and blue on Sunday night for Governor Cuomo’s newly announced “Day of Action to Combat Anti-Semitism.”
Cuomo issued the proclamation on Friday, declaring Oct. 27 as a “Day of Action” to honor the victims of the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting that took the lives of 11 worshippers on Oct. 27, 2018. It is also a day to reflect on and take action to combat the rise of anti-Semitic violence, according to the proclamation.
The FBI reported a 37-percent increase in anti-Semitic hate crimes from 2017 to 2018, saying that the Jewish community was the most frequently targeted group taking 58 percent of all religious-based hate crimes in the U.S. The NYPD reported a 90-percent increase in anti-Semitic hate crimes from 2018 to 2019, accounting for 60 percent of all hate crimes in that time period.
As part of the “Day of Action,” Cuomo is encouraging members of the Interfaith Advisory Council to magnify messages of inclusivity, harmony and love for one’s neighbor in their respective communities. Members of the governor’s administration will also participate in the American Jewish Committee’s (AJC) #ShowUpForShabbat campaign by attending services to honor the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting victims.
On Sunday night, One World Trade Center, the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, the Kosciuszko Bridge, SUNY Plaza, the State Education Building, the Alfred E. Smith Building and the New York State Fair Exposition Center will be lit in blue and white to mark the event.
The measure is Cuomo’s latest effort to cut down hate crimes in the state — in September, he directed state police to host a series of hate crime investigation seminars and in 2016, he launched a hate crimes text line (text “HATE” to 81336).
“New York’s strength is in our diversity, and we have zero tolerance for any acts of violence or hatred against the Jewish community,” Governor Cuomo said in a statement. “As we remember the anniversary of this tragedy, I invite all New Yorkers to reflect and take action to combat the alarming rise of anti-Semitic violence both across our state and the nation. Hate crimes have no place in New York.”
In August, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the opening of the NYC Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes after a spate of incidents over the summer, including the robbery of Jewish men in Williamsburg and the assault of a Jewish man in religious clothing in Crown Heights.