SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Hundreds of Capital Region locals gathered at the Congregation Gates of Heaven synagogue in Schenectady for a vigil in response to anti-Semitic violence in New York State, including a stabbing at a Rabbi’s home in Monsey during a Hanukkah celebration.
Rabbi Matt Cutler from Congregation Gates of Heaven says the climate many Jewish people are experiencing lacks acceptance and tolerance.
“What we’re doing here tonight is, we’re coming together, standing shoulder to shoulder, and saying, ‘this is not in my town,'” Cutler told News10.
The vigil brought leaders of different religions, law enforcement, and elected officials into one synagogue.
The event was sponsored by the Capital District Board of Rabbis, Jewish Federation of Northeastern New York, and Schenectady Clergy Against Hate.
Speakers included Congressman Paul Tonko, Imam Genghis Khan, and Rabbi Rafi Spitzer.
“I just really hope the message here is to be proud to be Jewish, and not to be afraid,” Spitzer told News10.
Local members of Sisters of Salaam Shalom, a national interfaith group of Muslim and Jewish women, attended the vigil, and echoed its message of unity.
“I think it is true for the Capital District community in general, we are a loving community. People are there for each other,” Aliya Saeed, a member of the sisterhood told News10.