A community activist in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights neighborhood tweeted footage of a previously unreported assault against a Hasidic Jew on Tuesday, indicating that a recent uptick in anti-Semitic attacks may be more widespread than previously estimated.
In the video, posted by Rabbi Yaacov Behrman of the Jewish Future Alliance, a group of what appear to be African-American teenagers can be seen throwing a folding chair at a young man wearing traditional Hasidic garb before punching him in the head.
“I found disturbing footage of chair throwing & assault on Chassidic Jew Tue on Albany & Lincoln. Victim is uncomfortable reporting due to the discovery reform (attacker may know his identity),” Behrman tweeted, adding that he believed the same group was responsible for a separate assault the same day.
“This incident demonstrates that there are many unreported incidents in New York,” he continued. “The attack occurred last Tuesday and was never reported to NYPD or media. I first learned of it Sunday evening and spoke to victim Monday and obtained footage.”
This incident demonstrates that there are many unreported incidents in New York. The attack occurred last Tuesday and was never reported to NYPD or media. I first learned of it Sunday evening and spoke to victim Monday and obtained footage. https://t.co/zm1sWpy5Rg
— Yaacov Behrman (@ChabadLubavitch) December 31, 2019
“The footage of the attack was not reported until I posted it,” Behrman told The Times of Israel. “It still hasn’t been filed with the NYPD. Later that day, there was an attack reported on the corner of Kingston Avenue and Union Street. The footage appears to show the same teens attacking.”
On Sunday, Behrman tweeted that two separate people had told him “they were told ‘f*** you Jews’ in the last day.”
New York’s Jewish community has suffered a string of attacks in recent weeks, prompting widespread fear and forceful calls for government action on anti-Semitism.
Since the December 10 massacre at a kosher grocery store in New Jersey, there have been 19 officially recorded anti-Semitic incidents in the US, including 16 in New York and New Jersey, according to the ADL’s Tracker of Anti-Semitic Incidents. Ten of those incidents have occurred in New York since December 23 and involved assaults or threatened violence.
On Saturday night, an assailant broke into the Monsey, New York, home of Rabbi Chaim Rottenberg and used a long machete to stab guests gathered for a Hanukkah celebration. Five people were injured in the attack, which authorities have deemed a hate crime, and two remain hospitalized.
Following that incident, New York City announced that it will launch three initiatives aimed at combating anti-Semitic hate crimes, one of which involves increasing the NYPD’s presence in Jewish neighborhoods, such as Borough Park, Crown Heights and Williamsburg.