UPPER EAST SIDE, Manhattan — “Shabbat Shalom!”
That’s how Cardinal Timothy Dolan greeted worshippers at Temple Emanu-El in a special prayer service to stop the rise in anti-Jewish hate crimes.
It was a show of love and support between Catholic and Jewish leaders.
Since the 11-day conflict between Israeli and Palestinian groups in the Gaza Strip, the number of antisemitic incidents in the United States and here in New York have increased at an alarming rate.
That’s why the Catholic archbishop of New York said he reached out to Rabbi Joshua Davidson to stand with the Jewish Community at Shabbat services. Davidson is the senior rabbi at Temple Emanu-El.
“For for all of us here tonight, bewilderment and fear in a time of rising antisemitism,” the rabbi told those in attendance and following a live stream of the Shabbat services.
Just this week, the NYPD arrested three men they believe to be responsible for assaulting two Jewish teenagers in Kensington, and threatening four men going into a Borough Park synagogue last Saturday night.
Also this week, a second man was arrested for allegedly assaulting a Jewish man while making antisemitic statements during rival pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian protests in a midtown.
“The recent hate crimes and vitriol shown against you, my esteemed elder brothers and sisters in the faith, is frightening, deplorable and nauseating,” Dolan told the congregation at Temple Emanuel.
“The Jewish community always bears the brunt, historically and right now,” the Cardinal added.
In New York City, antisemitic hate crime complaints are clearly on the rise, with 80 so far this year compared to 62 for the same period last year.
Worshippers said coming together to pray can help.
“Cardinal Dolan is magnificent,” Eileen Ames, a worshipper, told PIX11 News. “I was here last year when he came. He’s one of the city’s biggest spiritual advisers. He’s very respected. We all love him.”
“It was a very moving ceremony,” Clifford Robert’s, a worshipper, told PIX11 News. When asked if it will make a difference, he responded: “It will. People coming together is a very important thing,” he added.
Dolan said he had been to several Shabbat services at Temple Emanu-El before this one, and he promised that he will be back.