NEW YORK — Antisemitic hate crimes remain on the rise in New York City.
"I feel sad, frustrated," said Maxine, a member of the Jewish community.
That's why Police Commissioner Dermot Shea and William Sweeney, the assistant director in charge of the FBI in New York, met with members of the Jewish community at a Shabbat service at Park East Synagogue on the Upper East Side on Saturday.
"We will not and we have never tolerated hate, and we don't plan to now," Shea said.
According to Shea, so far this year the NYPD has investigated more than 300 hate crimes and about 35% of those incidents were deemed antisemitic.
"I don't go out at night anymore, late," said Julia Shane, a parishioner at Park East Synagogue. "I do feel secure because the Guardian Angels are in my neighborhood all the time, but isn’t that sad that they have to be there?"
Sweeney said the increase in antisemitic crimes can be attributed to many factors.
"There's everything from mental illness, to some of the norms in society seem to have changed for the worse," Sweeney said, "and then there's some of the problems in the Middle East that exacerbate the problem."
Some congregates said hearing directly from top law enforcement officials on this topic gave them hope the incidents will be curbed.
"They were very clear about what's going on and about creating a campaign so that we could have a decrease in what is happening, and educating people, and people speaking up when they see something," Maxine said.
"We graduated 486 new guardians yesterday. We have those new young officers eager to hit the streets," Shea said. "I think the simple message for this congregation and all New Yorkers: the NYPD is here for you."
Anyone who experiences or witnesses an antisemitic attack can contact the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force at 646-610-5267.
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