Rockland Town Supervisors Plan Forum To Ease Anti-Semitic Tensions

Sean Adams
January 15, 2020 - 12:43 pm
Monsey Stabbing

Seth Harrison, The Journal News/ USA TODAY Network, Rockland/Westchester Journal News via Imagn Content Services, LLC


RAMAPO, N.Y. (WCBS 880) — Rockland’s five town supervisors are scheduling a summit to hopefully east tensions across the county after a violent attack on the Orthodox Jewish community last month.

As WCBS 880’s Sean Adams reports, the attack on the seventh night of Hanukkah only added to the tensions between Jewish and secular residents.

Five Jewish men were brutally attacked with a machete when the suspect broke into a rabbi’s Monsey home on Dec. 28. One man was nearly killed and remains in a coma.

Rockland’s five town supervisors now want to end the cycle of hate and hope to bridge divisions and bring people together at a forum scheduled for next week.

“We can't ignore, frankly, the anti-Semitism and the intolerance that's been displayed, which is what motivated all of us to come together as supervisors on behalf of our towns, so we want to end that hatred. We want to bring people together and we want to start the dialogue,” said Ramapo Town Supervisor Michael Specht.

Adams notes that the bitterness in the county has been brewing for years – mostly focusing on Ramapo land-use policies, politics and the town's ultra-Orthodox communities.

Many Jewish residents also say anti-Semitism is the driving force for the secular community’s push back over development in their area.

The supervisors hope to restore civility Jan. 22 at 1 p.m. at the Crown Plaza in Suffern.