Watch CBS News

City Council Speaker Corey Johnson Meets With Jewish Leaders In Wake Of Latest Anti-Semitic Incident

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- It has happened yet again.

There has been another anti-Semitic incident in Brooklyn. And on Monday it was followed by a call for action, CBS2's Tara Jakeway reported.

This time a pair of Hasidic 13-year-old boys were harassed by four men riding in a Taxi and Limousine Commission vehicle. The teens were walking home in Borough Park at around 1:30 a.m. on Saturday when the men yelled anti-Semitic slurs at them from the car. They then sped up and followed the boys, who fled in terror.

MORE: Hikind: Hasidic Teens Harassed With Calls Of 'Allah Akbar' And 'We Love Hitler'

Parents of the boys filed a report and the NYPD Bias Unit is investigating.

It is just the latest in a string of anti-Semitic incidents on the uptick in the city lately.

"No one, no one, should should feel unsafe in our city because of their faith," City Council Speaker Corey Johnson said.

Web Extra: Corey Johnson Condemns Anti-Semitic Hate Crimes: 

Johnson joined community leaders Monday at the United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburg and North Brooklyn to address the trend.

"We must proactively work to stop this crisis. This January, the council passed legislation to create the Office of Hate Crime Prevention," Johnson said. "We have to ensure that everyone is safe, everyone gets the protection they deserve and that we show that this is intolerable in New York City."

The boys were harassed on 12th Avenue near 51st Street in Borough Park, but members of the Jewish community say it is happening all over the city.

"It's even worse than that. A lot of them don't get reported," Moise Freidrich said.

Freidrich said the solution starts with Mayor Bill de Blasio.

"He's running for president, right? The country is more divided than ever before. Let him start in the city," Freidrich said.

Others said the situation hits way too close to home.

"I'm the child of a holocaust survivor, and these things mean a lot to us," Moshe Gutman said. "Anybody that says 'heil Hitler' to any Jewish person must be uneducated or very, very mean."

"There was always hate crimes, but lately the rise and the percentage of what's going on is dramatic," Gary Schlesinger added.

According to the NYPD, anti-Semitic hate crimes in the city were up 82 percent over the first four months of 2019, compared to the same period last year.

The mayor was out of the city Monday at his son's college graduation, while Johnson, who some think has mayoral aspirations, was addressing the Jewish community. Religious leaders praised Johnson for turning his attention to the hate attacks, relating them to his recent personal battle.

"Quitting smoking is hard, but you did it. Stopping anti-Semitism is very hard, but with your leadership we are going to achieve that," Rabbi David Niederman said.

Johnson called on the mayor to support the Office of Hate Crimes Prevention.

"We are fighting to ensure that Mayor de Blasio fully funds this office in this upcoming budget," Johnson said.

The city council passed legislation to create that agency back in January, but money is needed to activate it.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.