Last night, New York State Senators from across the region joined local officials and the Jewish Community of Nassau County for a Unity Shabbat at Temple Beth-El of Great Neck.
The event, organized by State Senator Anna M. Kaplan (D-Great Neck) in her family synagogue, was one in a series of solidarity events being held around New York State to show support for Jewish New Yorkers and to take a firm stance against anti-Semitism, culminating in the Solidarity March taking place Sunday in New York City.
Senator Anna M. Kaplan said “as a Jewish refugee who came to this country fleeing anti-Semitic violence in my homeland, my heart aches over the outbreak of anti-Semitic violence taking place here in New York and across the country. I invited my Senate colleagues and colleagues from across government and public service to join me in prayer as a powerful display of unity and support for Jewish New Yorkers, and as a demonstration of solidarity in combating the crisis of anti-Semitism in every community.”
Guests and congregants were treated to a moving and powerful Shabbat service lead by Senior Rabbi Meir Feldman, Assistant Rabbi Elle Muhlbaum, and Cantor Vladimir Lapin, that spoke to the ancient disease of anti-Semitism and discussed strategies for driving out hate and anti-Semitism from our communities today through honesty, unity, solidarity, and hope.
Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said, “It was a true pleasure to join so many of my Senate Democratic Majority colleagues at Temple Beth El of Great Neck for Shabbat services. I want to especially thank Senator Anna Kaplan for organizing this opportunity for us to send a clear message that we stand with the Jewish community against the forces of hatred, anti-Semitism, and intolerance.”
“Hate has no place in New York and I was honored to join Leader Stewart-Cousins and Senator Kaplan at Temple Beth-El for this important Unity Shabbat,” said Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris. “We will do what is necessary to fight anti-Semitism and ensure the safety of all New Yorkers.”
Senator Kevin Thomas said “I am proud to join Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and my colleagues in attending Shabbat services. We remain united against all forms of anti-Semitism, and will continue to stand in solidarity with our Jewish communities. Thank you Senator Anna M. Kaplan for organizing this important event.”
Senator John E. Brooks said “Hate and intolerance have no place in our society. Last night I was proud to attend Shabbat services at Temple Beth El in Great Neck with Senator Kaplan, Leader Stewart Cousins, and many others, as we demonstrated our solidarity with the Jewish community. We will continue to work together to overcome anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry.”
Senator Jim Gaughran said “We must work to root out all forms of hate, particularly following the horrifying rise of anti-Semitism in recent weeks. We can never again let silence or acceptance of such vile attacks of hate become the norm. It is imperative that we stand unified to say: hate has no place here.”
“It is important for all of us, from all levels of government, regardless of party, to stand together at a time where so many people are being attacked simply for their faith. Messages of hatred, merciless and violent attacks, and willful disregard for human decency will NOT be tolerated,” said Senator Monica R. Martinez. “We must all come together, as a united front, to convey that hate is not tolerated in New York State. I am proud to support my colleagues in this message, not only today, but everyday.”
“In light of the recent surge of anti-Semitic hate crimes in our region, it is more important than ever that we come together and with one united voice condemn the abhorrent attacks inflicted upon our Jewish communities,” Senator Todd Kaminsky said. “I applaud Senator Kaplan for her leadership organizing this showing of strength and resolve standing against bigotry and intolerance.”
Senator Shelley B. Mayer said “In the face of multiple attacks on Jews across New York, I am honored to stand with my colleagues, including our Majority Leader, in condemning the acts of hate and lifting up the diversity and inclusivity of our communities. I thank Senator Kaplan for organizing this Shabbat event and inviting me to attend.”
Senator John Liu said “The substantial and sustained series of anti-Semitic attacks in recent years is frightening reminder that we must all be ever-vigilant against hate and bigotry. We gather at synagogue to show love and support for one another, and are thankful to Senator Kaplan for her efforts tonight and all other days.”
Senator Toby Ann Stavisky said “A diverse group of Senators joined Senator Kaplan to send a strong message that anti-Semitism will not be tolerated. It is all the more significant, that as an immigrant herself, Senator Kaplan brought us together and I thank her for her leadership.”
“We cannot and will not stand idly by while anti-Semitism, hate and intolerance are on the rise. Our solidarity through these difficult times will set an example for our communities by demonstrating that hate has no home in New York,” said State Senator Jessica Ramos. “Thank you to Senate Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Senator Anna Kaplan for their leadership in uniting our colleagues in a time when our Jewish neighbors need our support, love and protection the most.”
Assemblymember Charles Lavine said “It was wonderful joining Senator Kaplan and my colleagues at all levels of government for the Unity Shabbat at Temple Beth-El, as we stood together against recent acts of hate against the Jewish Community, and committed ourselves to defeating the darkness of hatred and anti-Semitism with the light of love and unity.”
Nassau County Comptroller Jack Schnirman said “With the numbers showing an undeniable rise in anti-Semitism, standing unified against hate is critical. I was proud to spend the evening in Great Neck with the congregation of Temple Beth-El, organized by Senator Kaplan and joined by Supervisor Judi Bosworth and so many others as a show of critical solidarity in this difficult time for our community.”
Nassau County Legislator Ellen W. Birnbaum said “It is so important for elected officials to join with the community in showing unity and solidarity against anti-Semitism and hatred. This service was a meaningful and impactful way of coming together as one voice to say we will stand together and speak out against anti-Semitism.”
Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth said “It is more important now than ever for all to stand up and speak out against the anti-Semitism that has been rampant in our communities. Last night’s Unity Shabbat at Temple Beth-El, organized by our NY State Senator Anna Kaplan, demonstrated the solidarity and commitment of our Long Island and New York State representatives to reassure the congregants that they are not alone.”
Town of North Hempstead Clerk Wayne H. Wink Jr. said “Thank you to Sen. Kaplan and Leader Stewart-Cousins for coordinating this event, and all the state and local officials who attended. Rabbis Feldman and Muhlbaum led a moving and thoughtful service, reminding us all that there is great strength and unity in embracing our diversity.”
Town of North Hempstead Councilwoman Veronica Lurvey said “In this difficult time, when we are experiencing rising levels of anti-Semitism, the presence of so many elected officials showing solidarity with the Jewish community in a synagogue sends a positive message of action and hope. I thank my good friend Senator Kaplan for always being a leader on this issue, as well as her colleagues from the State Senate, particularly Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, and my fellow local elected officials, who are on the front lines in calling out and eradicating anti-Semitism from our communities. In this new year, this new decade, we must continue to stand together against anti-Semitism and hatred in all its forms, and leverage the institutions, connections and programs already in place to eradicate anti-Semitism, hatred and intolerance towards all. Anti-Semitism has no home here. Not in the Town of North Hempstead, not in Nassau County, not in New York State, not in America!”
Senator Anna M. Kaplan concluded, “it’s so critical that we all stand together and speak out at every opportunity to combat the crisis of anti-Semitism and hatred, and last night’s event was an important moment of unity, strength, and support that is so desperately needed during this difficult time. I thank Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins, Deputy Majority Leader Gianaris, all my colleagues in government, my Rabbis, and the congregation of Temple Beth-El for joining me for this moving and impactful experience.”
Photo credit: From left to right: Front Row: Assemblymember Charles Lavine, Assemblyman Anthony D’Urso, Senator Shelley B. Mayer, Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, Senator Anna M. Kaplan, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, North Hempstead Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth, Great Neck Park District Commissioner Frank Cilluffo. Middle Row: Senator John E. Brooks, Nassau County Comptroller Jack Schnirman, Senate Deputy Majority Leader Michael Gianaris, Senator Kevin Thomas. Back Row: North Hempstead Town Clerk Wayne H. Wink Jr., Anti-Defamation League (ADL) CEO Jonathan Greenblatt, Senator Jim Gaughran, Nassau County Legislator Ellen W. Birnbaum, North Hempstead Town Councilwoman Veronica Lurvey, Temple Beth-El President Ronald Epstein, Temple Beth-El Cantor Vladimir Lapin, Temple Beth-El Senior Rabbi Meir Feldman, Temple Beth-El Assistant Rabbi Elle Muhlbaum