The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations today praised Mayor Rudolf Giuliani for bringing together leaders of the New York Jewish community and the Muslim community in New York City in order to discuss ways in which calm can be maintained during this holiday season in the wake of the violence in the Middle East. Convening a meeting with Police Commissioner Kerik and the Jewish and Muslim community leaders, Mayor Giuliani spoke of the important need to keep the peace in spite of the fact that emotions can run high in reactions to events in the Middle East.
Betty Ehrenberg, Director of International and Communal Affairs said, “Since Rosh Hashana, there have been reports of bias crimes and attacks on Jews at synagogues and at Tashlich services. The OU/IPA has requested increased safety and security measures on the part of the New York Police Department for synagogues this time of year. We were reassured by Police Commissioner Kerik that police protection would be stepped up at houses of worship during this holiday season. We appeal to rabbis and synagogue leaders at all OU synagogues to contact their local police precincts to invite the Community Relations officers into the synagogue so that maximum security can be maintained.
“We also appeal to the New York community at large to remember that all ethnic groups in New York City must be able to work together and not to allow spillover from incidents in the Middle East to disrupt the peace. It is in the best interest of all communities to be able to co-exist and live together peacefully in our city.”