Synagogues to See Beefed Up Police Presence Over Yom Kippur

Congregants at the city’s synagogues can expect to see a larger police presence, from both NYPD and State Police, for Yom Kippur Wednesday, amid a spike of antisemitic hate crimes that have worried civic and religious leaders about the safety of worshippers on Judaism’s holiest day.

One quarter of the additional deployed police will patrol neighborhoods in Brooklyn, which boasts a higher Jewish population than any other borough, police said Tuesday. The increased patrol presence will come in the form of walking and driving beats, and the use of turret lights, among other things.

Some community leaders had requested that authorities amplify their presence around synagogues, especially those in Orthodox neighborhoods like Williamsburg and Borough Park, amid the spike to ensure the safety of worshippers. “If they have to bring in 200 cops to patrol our streets to show their visibility, that’s what has to be done,” said Council Member Chaim Deutsch, according to the New York Post.

Deutsch and fellow Council Member Kalman Yeger met Tuesday morning with NYPD Chief of Department Terrence Monahan and Chief of Patrol Rodney Harrison. Afterward, Deutsch sent a letter to constituents saying that he feels “optimistic that [the NYPD] heard our concerns,” with NYPD bringing officers “in on overtime tonight and tomorrow, to patrol the streets around our synagogues.”

The mayor and police commissioner said today at the monthly crime stats briefing that antisemitic hate crimes were up by 53 percent citywide compared to last year. Most recently, a synagogue in Williamsburg was vandalized during Rosh Hashanah, with perpetrators breaking windows with a milk carton. Police are still searching for the suspects.

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Ben Brachfeld

Ben Brachfeld

Ben Brachfeld is a freelance reporter based in Brooklyn. His work has also appeared in Gotham Gazette and Gothamist. On Twitter @benbrachfeld.

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