Nassau County police will beef up their presence at public Hanukkah celebrations, County Executive Bruce Blakeman said.
The eight-day Jewish holiday began Sunday night. Blakeman, who is Jewish, said the county will not accept antisemitism and hatred.
“We have a country where we have religious freedom and we want to keep it that way,” he said. “There have been some encroachments on religion that are unacceptable, and we want to make sure that does not exist, at least here in Nassau County.”
Several notable cases of antisemitism have occurred throughout Nassau. Examples include hateful flyers being distributed on the South Shore, swastikas discovered inscribed inside bathroom stalls at Cedar Creek Park in Seaford and a woman requesting that Rockville Centre trustees amend the village code so that “a synagogue cannot be on every street.”
County leaders formed a special legislative task force in January to confront antisemitism. Along with highlighting the causes and prevalence of county antisemitism, they also advocate preventative measures like community collaboration and education.
Blakeman said the county is aware of threats made against all religions, not just Judaism.
“This is going to be a county where people of all religions can celebrate in their own unique way — we will not tolerate hate in this county,” he said. “We will celebrate all religions, all people, all races and every ethnicity. We are a very, very diverse county and that’s what makes us a great county.”
An Anti-Defamation League audit said New York led American cities in recorded antisemitic incidents in 2021.
The 416 occurrences reported made up a 24% increase over the 336 instances the organization recorded in 2020. It also accounted for 15% of all reported antisemitic events nationwide.