‘People Are Very, Very Nervous’: Community Leaders In Brooklyn Warn Of Increased Bias Attacks Against Jews

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Some leaders in Brooklyn’s Jewish community say bias attacks are happening more frequently.

The most recent incident left a man badly bruised. It was captured on camera and now police are searching for the attacker.

Police are keeping watch at the scene of the latest attack on Rutland Road near Schenectady Avenue.

Many Jewish leaders say this is happening too frequently to be a coincidence, CBS2’s Janelle Burrell reported.

“People are very, very nervous about what is going  on,” said Assemblyman Dov Hikind.

Jewish leaders including Hikind told Burrell they believe the recent attacks in Brooklyn aren’t isolated.

“They’re not anomalies?” Burrell asked.

“No, not at all. In between these two incidents, there are so many others. Many of them don’t get reported,” Hikind said.

The latest victim is a 52-year-old orthodox Jewish man who asked that CBS2 not share his name.

Police are looking for the man who went after him Saturday afternoon as he was walking home from synagogue.

“I greeted him and I go, continue. Next thing I know, he said ‘I don’t like Jews, who were you talking to. I don’t talk to Jews.’ He put me in a headlock and I’m trying to maneuver out of him. In the meantime, I’m screaming ‘Help, help.’ He said ‘You don’t need help, I’m going to kill you right here.’”

The assault went on for five minutes before two people walking by pulled the man off and held him down. The 52-year-old was left with a black eye, broken rib and scratches.

A week earlier, police said a 42-year-old man was attacked on Eastern Parkway, punched in the face repeatedly. He suffered a broken nose and broken ribs.

“I don’t know if there’s a connection, but there’s a lot of concern there has been tremendous growth of anti-Semitism,” Hikind said.

According to the Anti-Defamation League, last year there were 11 anti-Semitic assaults in New York state. Seven of them were in Brooklyn.

Leaders of New York’s Jewish Leadership Council have written to the NYPD, questioning the timing of the attacks. Both happened on the Jewish sabbath – when there are fewer Jewish volunteer safety officers on patrol.

“Unfortunately there are people out there who want to kill us for one reason: Because we are a Jew,” the victim’s wife said.

The ADL is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to a conviction.

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