New York City Mayor Eric Adams delivered a leadership briefing during a meeting held by the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York (JCRC-NY) on Feb. 1. Mayor Adams’s leadership remarks and comments addressed how his administration will move forward in collaboration with the Jewish community in order to combat the rising level of anti-Semitic hate crimes reported in the city.
Since 2020, hate crimes targeting the Jewish community in New York State have skyrocketed. In 2020 alone there were 121 reported anti-Semitic hate crimes, and in 2021 there were 179 reported crimes – a nearly 50% increase.
“It breaks my heart – when I look and see the increase in antisemitism in this city and how much people don’t really appreciate the beauty of our diversity and as the Mayor, we want to put in place some real tangible short-term and long-term ways of how to come together as a City,” said Mayor Adams. “No one understands this better than JCRC. In your interfaith and intercultural activities – you intentionally reach out and ensure that people come together and collaborate – I like to say cross-pollinate our cultures and ideas.”
During his address, Mayor Adams stated that his priority in combating anti-Semitic hate crimes was to investigate each and every allegation with speed and efficiency. The mayor has repeatedly stated that he wishes to bolster the New York City Police Department and potentially hire more officers to ensure safety throughout the city. This action, he said, would also be utilized to combat future hate crimes in addition to investigating those that had already taken place.
“It is crucial to send the message that hate has no place in our city,” the Mayor stated, “I want to hit reset with my police department. We’re going to build back support for our police. A safe city from gun violence, hate crimes, a safe city from anti-Semitism.”
Furthermore, Mayor Adams emphasized the importance of education and remembrance when it comes to combating racial and cultural prejudice. Particularly in regards to the Jewish community, he said it was crucial for young people to understand the struggles that the community has historically endured. Without this education, youth are much more likely to engage in anti-Semitic or racist behaviors, Adams said.
“We also want to look into our schools. We have a captive audience, every day with young people,” Mayor Adams said Tuesday. “A classroom cannot only be in the sterilized environment of four walls. Anytime you have a 14 [or] 15-year-old draw a swastika on a building, that’s a clear indicator that we have failed by not introducing them to the cultures and rich contributions that all of our brothers and sisters of different faiths have contributed to this City, particularly the Jewish community.”
Calling upon the JCRC-NY, Mayor Adams also asked for support to achieve the goals he has set out to improve the city, saying the help and partnership of the council was incredibly important to his vision of a safer NYC.
“JCRC-NY is honored to have hosted Mayor Eric Adams in these early days of his taking office,” said Gideon Taylor, JCRC-NY Executive Vice President and CEO. “The Mayor has been a longtime friend to JCRC-NY and has been engaged with JCRC-NY throughout his years of service. It is so appropriate that on the same day that the Mayor addressed JCRC-NY, we launched a new Partners Against The Hate Fellowship, together with the NYC Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes, dedicated to building bridges across the diversity divide in our City. We look forward to deepening our relationship with the Adams Administration and identifying new initiatives to improve the quality of life for all.”