Brutal, horrific, savage, vicious, barbaric; all these words and more describe the attack that happened this week at the home of a Rabbi during Hanukkah. It serves as a stark reminder that even in a community as good and serene as ours, evil can visit us.
No more excuses, we must do better. We, as a society are suffering from a cancerous disease that has us in its grip. That disease is intolerance and we must do everything in our power to beat it back. I joined with over 700 of our friends and neighbors at the Jewish Community Campus to stand together and condemn the hate that is happening both here and elsewhere.
This was only a beginning, we must all do better in communicating with and learning about our neighbors while building on the good that we do have here in Rockland. I was pleased to see so many of our neighbors from different religions, races and ethnicities coming together. I truly hope that more people begin this New Year by spending more time listening to others and learning from them and less time speaking ourselves.
We cannot learn when we do not listen. We cannot coexist when we try to shout each other down. Our differences are minor, our similarities are many and it is time that we embrace the definition of being neighborly; helpful, friendly and kind. I also ask that we practice understanding at this time of pain and fear for our Jewish neighbors. We must all stand together.
This is the type of event at the JCC that we must replicate to continue building bridges and to foster understanding, but we are doing so much more to address the concerns of our residents.
We are continuing to think outside the box. The resources of government and of law enforcement are finite. Professionals from Brosnan Risk Consultants have offered to augment the efforts of local law enforcement for free and provide patrols at synagogues, shuls and neighborhoods that feel threatened.
My greatest concern is for the safety and well being of our residents. We will do whatever has to be done to protect everyone who calls Rockland County their home. I am extremely grateful to Patrick Brosnan, a retired NYPD detective and CEO of Brosnan Risk Consultants for their offer of free armed patrols.
We are fighting back as a community, as a County and we will not tolerate violence of any kind here in Rockland.