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CAM Partnership Spotlight: JCRC-New York Hosts Congressional Leadership Breakfast

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) addresses the JCRC-NY Congressional Breakfast, Feb. 5, 2022. Photo: JCRC-NY.

February 16, 2023

For more than three decades, the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York (JCRC-NY) has built relationships to advance the values, interests, and security of the Jewish community and create a more interconnected New York for all.

The JCRC-NY’s annual Congressional Breakfast was held in-person earlier this month at the UJA-Federation of New York, after three years of virtual gatherings due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

At the event, U.S. senators and Congress members, as well as other state and local leaders and community stakeholders, discussed a broad array of issues of importance to Jewish residents of New York.

The Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM) was represented at the breakfast by Director of North American Affairs Rebecca Rose.

Speakers included Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY 8), as well as Representatives Yvette Clarke (D-NY 9), Anthony D’Esposito (R-NY 4), Adriano Espaillat (D-NY 13), Mike Lawler (R-NY 17), Gregory Meeks (D-NY 5), Grace Meng (D-NY 6), and Jerrold Nadler (D-NY 12).

“You can’t fence off bigotry,” Senator Schumer said on the importance of combating antisemitism.

“An attack on the Jewish community is an attack on all of us,” Representative Jeffries declared.

U.S. House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY 8) addresses the JCRC-NY Congressional Breakfast, Feb. 5, 2022. Photo: JCRC-NY.

 

The meeting came at a pivotal time, with antisemitism on the rise across the U.S., including in New York, which is home to the largest Jewish community outside Israel. 

With 60 member organizations in and around New York City, the JCRC-NY collaborates with more than 500 faith and ethnic groups and brings more than 40,000 people annually to the Celebrate Israel Day Parade in Manhattan. For more than 20 years, the JCRC-NY has also brought groups of elected officials from New York to Israel on missions to foster understanding and appreciation for the Jewish community’s relationship with Israel, and to increase knowledge, exposure, and support for Israel among diverse groups of New Yorkers. 

The Community Security Initiative (CSI) is a important joint program of the JCRC-NY and UJA-Federation, created after the October 2018 Tree of Life Synagogue Massacre in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. CSI works to enhance the security of the approximately 2,000 Jewish institutions in the New York area. It offers grants to community institutions to ensure physical safety and it monitor threats to the New York Jewish community.

Last November, for example, through its online social-media monitoring system, CSI alerted the New York City Police Department (NYPD) to an active threat against a synagogue in the city, resulting in the arrest of two armed men — including one wearing a Nazi arm band — at Penn Station.

CAM was honored to host retired NYPD Lt. Terence M. Byrne — Regional Security Manager at the Community Security Initiative — at the 2022 Mayors Summit Against Antisemitism in Athens, Greece. Byrne spoke on the panel “Security Concepts and Solutions From the Field: American, Canadian, and European Perspectives” and brought this harrowing real-life case — that only occurred days prior — to the discussion.

The keynote speaker at the Mayors Summit Against Antisemitism — which brought together municipal leaders from more than 50 cities worldwide, all united by the common mission of combating Jew-hatred in the respective communities — was New York City Mayor Eric Adams, invited by CAM and the JCRC-NY.

In his address, Mayor Adams lamented the mainstreaming of antisemitism, saying, “The temperature is increasing ever so slightly that we have allowed it to normalize in every part of our lives. We have become accustomed to it; it has become popular.”

CAM is proud to have an outstanding coalition partner in the JCRC-NY — a relationship that bolsters the collective global effort to build a better future, free of bigotry and hatred, for the Jewish people and all humanity. 

Category:CAM Weekly