In New York City
In the final days of 2019, increasing attacks against visibly Jewish individuals cried out for a response. So just a few days into the new year, on January 5, 2020, we brought 25,000 people — Jews and non-Jews together — to march from Foley Square across the Brooklyn Bridge under the banner of “No Hate. No Fear.” The historic march and the rally that followed were conceived and funded by UJA, and planned with the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York. Other sponsors of the rally were the Anti-Defamation League New York/New Jersey, American Jewish Committee, and New York Board of Rabbis.
Nearly 200 organizations participated, with delegations from Cleveland, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Montreal, and Toronto. Dozens of elected officials — including our senior-most political leaders from the state, city, and Congress — joined us. We came together as proud Jewish New Yorkers dedicated to saying “no to hate and no to fear.”
“The point of the march was not simply to walk across a bridge, but rather to build better bridges,” said Eric S. Goldstein, UJA CEO. “Between all denominations of Jews. Between Jews and non-Jews. So that we can more effectively combat anti-Semitism and all forms of hatred together.”
On the same day as the New York rally, hundreds of Israelis in Jerusalem showed up for a parallel rally organized by UJA’s partner The Jewish Agency for Israel, as well as the World Zionist Organization and the Anti-Defamation League.
From left: Bat Galim Shaer, educator and public figure, whose son Gilad was murdered by Hamas terrorists in the summer of 2014; Uri Leventer-Roberts, executive director of UJA’s Israel office; Amir Sznajderman, Director of Economic Development, Loan Funds Division, Jewish Agency for Israel.
Participants rallied outside The Jewish Agency’s Israel offices and chanted “Am Yisrael Chai” and proudly displayed signs in Hebrew that read “Love Your Neighbor As You Love Yourself” and “No Hate. No Fear.” in English.
“This rally in Israel shows the two-way reaction of solidarity,” said Uri Leventer-Roberts, executive director of UJA’s Israel office. “We’re so used to the U.S. marching with Israel, but here we are standing up in public, and saying ‘we are supporting you.’”
A few days after the New York City and Jerusalem rallies, 800 people in Westchester turned out for a community-wide event, “Anti-Semitism: What We Face and How We Fight It.” Presented by UJA in collaboration with our partner Westchester Jewish Council, the event was held at Temple Israel Center in White Plains.
From left: Anthony A. Scarpino, Jr., Westchester District Attorney; Hindy Poupko, UJA’s Deputy Chief Planning Officer; Mark Weitzman, Director of Government Affairs, Simon Wiesenthal Center
Speakers included Westchester District Attorney Anthony A. Scarpino, Jr., and Mark Weitzman, a director at the Simon Wiesenthal Center. Hindy Poupko, UJA’s deputy chief planning officer, closed the event with an overview of how UJA is fighting anti-Semitism through a major investment in security. “We are embarking on a new, multimillion-dollar effort to engage in a wholesale upgrade of our community infrastructure,” she said.
On Long Island
The Island-Wide Task Force Against Anti-Semitism and Symbols of Hate organized a march against anti-Semitism on January 12. Thousands of Long Islanders representing many faiths and backgrounds from over 125 religious and community groups came out to stand united with the Jewish community. The newly formed task force is an initiative of County Executives Laura Curran and Steve Bellone. UJA helped spread the word about this march and encouraged the Long Island community to participate.