Amid a surge in anti-Semitic hate crimes and New York City, as well as the fatal stabbing of five people at a Hanukkah celebration in Monsey, the city is stepping up its efforts to combat hate.
On Sunday, Mayor de Blasio announced that the Brooklyn communities of Williamsburg, Crown Heights and Borough Park will launch new Neighborhood Safety Coalitions, overseen by the Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes.
The coalitions are tasked with identifying and addressing issues that drive hate-based crimes. They will bring together community members, whose presence in schools, street corners and religious institutions will hopefully deter hateful actions.
Williamsburg is also one of the five Brooklyn neighborhoods that will receive increased NYPD resources and patrols.
There will be more NYPD presence at houses of worship and during local events. These neighborhoods will be getting new light towers and security cameras.
Finally, the Department of Education will implement new hate crime awareness programming next month for middle and high schools in Williamsburg.
New curriculum on hate crimes will also be launched in neighborhood schools beginning with the next school year.
“Fearing the next act of terror will not become the new normal for our Jewish neighbors,” Mayor de Blasio said in a statement. “In New York City, diversity is our strength and we respect the traditions of all who call New York City home. Intolerance will never take hold here.”
Since 1899, Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens has been changing lives and building communities while serving our neighbors in need with mercy and compassion.
We currently sponsor more than 160 programs and services for children and youth, adults and seniors, persons with developmental disabilities, those who are mentally ill, and the isolated. In addition, we are one of the largest faith-based providers of affordable housing in the country.
Countless members of our community in Brooklyn and Queens have turned to Catholic Charities for assistance. We address issues of poverty and promote justice in the communities we serve, thereby empowering families and individuals to achieve greater self-sufficiency.
Please give generously to Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens in the special holiday collection at your parish on Christmas Day. Help the hungry, vulnerable and those in need. Donate online at ccbq.org or send a check to Catholic Charities Brooklyn & Queens, 191 Joralemon St, 12th Fl, Brooklyn, 11201.
The Grand Street Business Improvement District (BID) is hosting its third annual holiday food drive from now until December 19.
Thirteen participating small businesses located on Grand Street in East Williamsburg will have collection boxes for non-perishable food items to be donated to families in the St. John the Evangelist food pantry program.
Items that are accepted include: canned vegetables, breakfast cereals, peanut butter, oatmeal, rice, beans, canned fish, baby formula and baby food, raisins and dried fruit. Pre-cooked meals or foods that can be eaten without much heating are also accepted.
“Grand Street businesses were quick to join in, as always, when asked to participate this year,” said Erin Piscopink, executive director of Grand Street BID. “We have countless small business owners here that care deeply about our community, and it always shows most when we have events like this.”
The food will be used to help the 150 to 200 weekly recipients of St. John the Evangelist’s hot meal program, as well as their food pantry, which serves 20 to 30 local families.
Typical beneficiaries are senior citizens on fixed incomes and working families whose combined incomes don’t allow for full meals by the end of the month.
Residents and customers can donate by stopping by any of the 13 participating restaurants and dropping food items in the holiday wrapped collection box.
Perishable and pre-cooked foods will also be collected by the Grand Street BID at 246 Graham Avenue.