In response to Saturday’s attack on Jewish people celebrating Chanukah together in a rabbi’s home in Monsey, New York, Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen) released the following statement:
“Last night, members of the Jewish community celebrated their final night of Chanukah. Chanukah is a testament to the endurance and fortitude of the Jewish faith. It seems that recent events in New Jersey and across the country have tested that fortitude in ways we should never again have to imagine. I would like to express my most sincere condolences to those impacted by these violent events; it should never be dangerous to express one’s faith. From Jersey City to Monsey to Poway, anti-Semitism continues to spread across our nation.
“However, these events are not limited to the violent, hate-based acts that we have read about in the newspapers. Recently, we have seen anti-Semitism’s rise through other acts: swastikas graffiti in school bathrooms and on yards, slurs hurled at the faithful as they walk to services.
“I believe that the words and actions of our leaders play a pivotal role in guiding and transforming the cultural sea change that we need in the United States. In New Jersey, I am grateful that our leaders are committed to standing up against hate and finding real solutions. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Attorney General Gurbir Grewal who has faced the tragedy in Jersey City with composure and great care. Additionally, Mayor Fulop’s instinct, both unwavering and assured, spoke truth to power as he called out the tragedy for what it was – a hate crime. The leadership of Attorney General Grewal, Mayor Fulop and countless other leaders has provided hope for a peaceful future.
“As Chair of the Assembly Homeland Security and State Preparedness Committee, I have long prioritized the evaluation and improvement of our State’s response to hate crime as well as the potential ways that these events can be prevented. As we mourn the lives of those that were lost and as we share our collective strength with those injured and grieving, we must continue to renounce hate and do the work to make New Jersey, and the United States, the place that it should be – a beacon of hope, a refuge from hate and intolerance, and a space for unity and diversity to prosper.
“As the Festival of Lights comes to a close, let us come together as a community as our own flame of hope. Together we can fight against intolerance and hatred – now is the time for everyone to stand up and say ‘no more.’”