Mayor Adams holds rally at City Hall amid rise in antisemitism, hate crimes

As thousands of Jewish people begin to celebrate Hanukkah, hate crimes and incidents of bias are on the rise in New York City.

Mayor Eric Adams held a rally with religious leaders at City Hall Friday morning calling for unity, peace, and safety.

In Albany Thursday evening, a man fired a shotgun outside Temple Israel hours before the start of Hanukkah. The suspect allegedly yelled “Free Palestine” before he was taken into custody.

No one was hurt, but the incident added to rising fears of antisemitism.

“The safety of Jewish New Yorkers is nonnegotiable,” Governor Kathy Hochul said after the scare in Albany.

Back here in the city, police are investigating at least two bias incidents targeting local Jewish communities.

On November 18, a suspect set fire to tarps displaying the Star of David outside a Jewish Japanese restaurant. The NYPD has recovered video of the crime.

On Eastern Parkway this past Thursday, a victim in traditional Jewish attire was mugged. Police are expected to release images of a suspect.

To mark the first night of Hanukkah, Jewish religious leaders and other faith officials gathered at Temple Emanuel on the East Side. Jewish, Muslim and Christian leaders came together to light the first candle of the holiday and celebrate an interfaith brotherhood.

In Columbus Circle, hundreds gathered with an altogether different menorah, one with the message and prayer of a ceasefire in its heart.

In New Jersey, the city of Paterson, which has one of the largest Palestinian communities in the U.S. and once had a Jewish population of over 18,000, the menorah lighting had a special meaning for a community with so much diversity.

The recent hate crimes and bias incidents come amid fallout from Israel’s intensifying war in Gaza and criticism over the rising death toll in the Middle East.

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