Don Clavin, who officially became Hempstead Town Supervisor on New Year’s Day, united with Senior Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby, Councilman Bruce Blakeman, Councilman Anthony D’Esposito, Assemblywoman Missy Miller and a diverse group of religious leaders at the Yeshiva of South Shore in Hewlett to denounce anti-Semitism and hatred and demonstrated solidarity as a unified Town of Hempstead.
“There is absolutely no room in our society for anti-Semitism, bigotry and any forms of hate,” Clavin said. “On New Year’s Eve, here in America’s largest township, we’re here at the Yeshiva of South Shore to denounce the disturbing string of violence in our region targeted against people of the Jewish faith during the past week of Hanukkah. And we’re gathering to announce that we’re unified across all faiths, denominations and races against all forms of hatred. We are a unified Hempstead Town.”
The group called on state and federal officials to enhance funding for security measures at houses of worship. Specifically, they expressed support for a recent call for expanded federal funds to provide security for these holy places. The officials implored state and federal leaders to ensure that religious organizations on Long Island benefit from any additional funding for security.
“These disgusting, violent attacks must be condemned, and it’s important for us to demonstrate our unity across all faiths,” Senior Councilwoman Goosby said. “I support efforts by state and federal officials to provide additional support for protection and security of Houses of Worship, ensuring safety for everyone from all walks of life.”
“Recent attacks on Jews throughout the World and unfortunately here in America make it clear and unequivocal that all Americans must stand against anti-Semitism and those that commit these hate crimes must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” said Councilman Bruce Blakeman.
“These despicable acts, especially during the Hanukkah and Christmas holidays, are attacks on the fabric of our nation,” Councilman D’Esposito added. “Every American has a right to freely practice their religion on a daily basis without any apprehension. Offenses against anyone should be viewed as an affront to everyone in our community. We will not tolerate bias in any form it takes.”
“Hanukkah is a time for tradition, celebration and family,” said Assemblywoman Missy Miller. “These disturbing acts of anti-Semitism during this time cannot be ignored. We are dealing with domestic terrorism and a targeted attack on faith – something must be done.”
Spiritual leaders from various religious denominations offered their reflections.
“I thank our leaders in Hempstead for their unwavering and outspoken outrage at all acts of anti-Semitism,” said
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky of the Yeshiva of South Shore. “We must all stand together against all acts of bigotry and hatred.”
“We are in the midst of a troubling war on religion,” said Reverend Derek Garcia, chaplain of the Nassau County Police Department. “By uniting together across all faiths, we are taking the proper steps to combat this hatred that has been targeting our way of life.”
“In the wake of these tragic acts of violence we must band together and be stronger than ever,” said Reverend William Watson, president of the Long Island Conference of Clergy. “Our faith is what drives us to be better people, and we will
not let hatred stand in the way of that.”
Clavin emphasized the Town of Hempstead’s zero tolerance policy for bias actions.
“In Hempstead Town, we have directed the Commissioner of Public Safety to step up patrols in town parks, beaches and other facilities to observe and report any anti-Semitic graffiti or and other indications of hatred,” Clavin said.” We have a zero-tolerance policy for thistype of activity. Our personnel will immediately report all such incidents to the proper legal authorities. All of us will continue to stand united to fight against every form of hatred and bigotrywhenever it presents itself.”