The Anti-Defamation League has opened an office in Brooklyn to deal with antisemitic occurrences there after calling the city “the locus of assaults” in a recent study on rising antisemitism in the United States.
The ADL’s New York-New Jersey regional office will oversee the Brooklyn office, which will debut at the end of the month with a staff of only two. According to the most recent data available, Brooklyn is home to 600,000 Jews, which accounts for about a quarter of the borough’s population and the bulk of the Jewish community in New York City.
There are numerous sizable Hasidic communities in Brooklyn.
According to Scott Richman, the ADL’s regional director for New York and New Jersey, Brooklyn is the city with the highest concentration of Jews in the country. To combat the rising tide of antisemitism and all forms of hate, we look forward to intensifying our efforts in the Jewish community with our allies and partners.
The announcement follows the ADL’s collaboration with other Jewish security groups in New York and New Jersey to create the Jewish Security Alliance, a new umbrella organization.
The majority of the 111 antisemitic attacks from the previous year targeted Orthodox Jews, according to the ADL’s annual national audit of antisemitism in 2022, which was released last week. Fifty-two attacks total—nearly half of the total—took place in Brooklyn alone.
According to the audit, there was a 36% increase in incidences compared to the prior year and a 39% increase in antisemitic incidents in New York.
Visibly Orthodox Jews have long been the focus of street attacks in Brooklyn, and the ADL reports that this persisted in 2022.
The group claimed that in May, a group of youths shot a Hasidic bus driver with a BB gun and shot another Jew in front of a synagogue; in October, a woman slapped a Jewish youngster in front of the Chabad-Lubavitch Hasidic movement’s Crown Heights headquarters without cause.
According to ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt, “Brooklyn needs a larger ADL presence on the ground so that we can better address the concerns of a neighborhood that, regrettably, is one of the country’s epicenters for antisemitism.”
The new office’s mandate, according to Greenblatt, is to “react directly to antisemitic incidents in Brooklyn, to cooperate directly with law enforcement and community leaders in responding to acts of hate, and to nurture bridges of understanding and acceptance.”