With the New York Police Department facing mounting criticism following the brutal attack on Abner Louima and the fatal shooting of Amadou Diallo, a diverse group of city religious leaders came together last year to express their concern to city government officials.
The New York Police Department is planning to put its officers through a new police tolerance training center being launched in Manhattan next year by the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center, The Jewish Week has learned.
Police Commissioner Howard Safir has held several discussions with Wiesenthal Center founder Rabbi Marvin Hier about using its Tools for Tolerance program to sensitize the nation's largest police force, which has been rocked by a series of tragic incidents involving ethnic minorities.
Hate crimes against Jews continued across the nation this week even as political leaders from New York’s City Hall to the White House were promising stepped-up protection and renewed attempts to push tougher anti-hate and gun control laws.
The moves come in response to the shootings at a Los Angeles-area Jewish community center in which five people were wounded, including a 5-year-old boy and two 6-year-olds.
For years the small group of black men has occupied the center island of Times Square several times a week preaching against white devils and declaring that they are the true descendants of the biblical Hebrews.
A day after the arson fire at a Hauppauge, L.I., synagogue last week, a congregant at the neighboring Dix Hills Jewish Center rushed up to the rabbi to ask about security for the High Holy Days.
"He said security was being beefed up and that there was nothing to be worried about," the congregant, Elaine Greenwald, said later of her conversation with Rabbi Howard Buechler. "I trust that when the rabbi tells me that, we're doing all we can."