November 14, 2023
NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams yesterday convened a meeting with Jewish, Muslim, and Christian faith and community leaders in the wake of a recent spike in hate crimes across both the Jewish and Muslim communities since October 7, 2023 — when Hamas launched a terrorist attack on Israeli civilians. In the five weeks since the attacks, tensions have risen across NewYork City and the rest of the globe, unfortunately leading to a rise in hate crimes in certain communities. Mayor Adams brought these leaders together yesterday to discuss how to fight hate within the five boroughs and how New Yorkers can work together to create a safer, more accepting New York.
“There is no place for hate in our city and we need all of our houses of worship to come together in this moment and talk about how we bring light into the darkness that we are all experiencing,” said Mayor Adams. “This is a very painful moment we are all going through, and I don’t have all the answers, which is why hearing from our faith leaders is so crucial. I’m hoping this circle of dialogue and mutual respect continues to grow as we navigate all that is happening across our planet. I firmly believe that what plays out in the international arena mirrors what plays out on the streets of New York City because we are such an international community. Our biggest strength is our diversity, but lately, I have seen that strength slipping away. I am proud we are showing not only the country, but the globe, that even in these difficult moments we are still able to lean into the strength of our diversity.”
“It is important to come together in good times, but it is even more important to come together in a challenging moment,” said Imam Shamsi Ali, Jamaica Muslim Center. “As home to some of the most diverse communities, New York City has the privilege to bring us together. Despite our differences, we always find a way to be united. In fact, we must be aware that we may agree to disagree without being disagreeable. We are one, New York!”
“We as leaders must demonstrate that there can be a unity of spirit as well as diversity of thought,” said Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, New York Board of Rabbis. “We can share different beliefs, but we must show our young people that we belong to one human family.”
“Engagement, service, and conversation are essential to co-existing,” said Shahriar Rahman, president, Bhalo. “Putting geopolitics aside, we need to focus and emphasize on community growth and inter-community bonding. The meeting yesterday is a start to a long recovery and building process between many communities.”
“We appreciate the leadership of Mayor Adams and his team who convened our faith leaders to discuss pathways that will build tolerance and understanding during this challenging time,” said Hindy Poupko, senior vice president, community and external relations, UJA Federation of New York.
“It was a constructive meeting with several actionable results,” said Mohammad Razvi, CEO, Council of People’s Organization (COPO). “COPO does a weekly food distribution with volunteers of many backgrounds. We will immediately begin a volunteers’ dialogue prior to starting each of our distributions.”
“Hatzalah is grateful for the mayor’s leadership in bringing groups like this together to better understand each other and learn how to live as good neighbors,” said Yechiel Kalish, CEO, Hatzalah. “By clearly communicating our shared values openly and honestly under the guidance of leaders like Mayor Adams we can continue to make New York the best city in the world.”
“As an Imam, we are under one creator,” said Imam Muhammad Shahid Ullah, president, Islamic TV. “My faith teaches me to live together, work together, and stay together. My message is very clear as a faith leader: There should be no hate in New York City.”
“Beautiful meeting with our Muslim, Jewish, and Christian community leaders to combat hate,” said Rabbi Shlomo Nisanov, Kehilat Sephardim. “No one is born hating. You are taught to hate.”
Following yesterday’s meeting, the group of Jewish and Muslim faith and community leaders plan to schedule a follow-up meeting to pursue both short-term and long-term actionable items discussed.
Joining Mayor Adams and administration officials at yesterday’s meeting were the following faith and community leaders: