Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams on Tuesday led an interfaith gathering between leaders of the Jewish, Christian and Muslim communities as a gesture of spiritual solidarity in light of what he describes as recent religiously-motivated assaults on Brooklyn residents.
Adams stood with Assembly Members Dov Hikind and Karim Camara, Public Advocate Letitia James, Council Members Laurie Cumbo and Mathieu Eugene, and religious leaders in front of 339 Albany Ave. in Crown Heights.
That is the site where Avrohom Wolosow was attacked, as a part of the “knockout game” on Aug. 13.
Adams said recent events, such as the incident against Wolosow, the fire set at an East Flatbush church and offenses committed towards worshipers outside of mosques in Bay Ridge and Midwood, would not deter the efforts of his office and the interfaith community from continuing to improve relationships between the borough’s many diverse groups.
“I stand in partnership with my colleagues in government and a vast array of faith leaders to denounce hatred and bigotry on any and all levels,” he said.
“Brooklyn is a beautiful mosaic, which is home to individuals representing over 130 ethnicities who practice varied religions and speak diverse languages,” he added. “Violence against an individual because of one’s religious affiliation, color, sexual orientation, or creed will not be tolerated by any of us, or by the members of the constituency that we represent.
“One Brooklyn means that we stand united against hate, we stand united against violence, and we stand united for peace and harmony,” Adams continued.
Hikind said: “We have the greatest police department in the country and we have great leadership at City Hall; but, in 2014, no one should be afraid to walk the streets because of their religion, because of the color of their skin, or because of what they believe in.”
“This press conference is about innocent citizens of our city being victimized, and so we all stand together and speak out to make sure that the most recent incident that happened is really the last one,” he added.
James said she attended the press conference to “send a simple message: we stand together united against hate. We’ve come together in a united front against any acts of hate; we will not be divided over any man-made differences.”
“This gathering with all of these wonderful people, who took time out of their busy schedules to be here to fight injustice and to fight bigotry, is a tremendous accomplishment,” said Barry Sugar of the Jewish Leadership Council.
Ibrahim Kurtiuis, of the United American Muslim Faith Mosque, said: “When any one group is assailed by the fabric of our society, then it’s torn to pieces.”
“Hatred in any type of form will not be tolerated at all by our community or any community in the greatest city in the world,” he said.
“If you look at Brooklyn tonight or walk in any part of Brooklyn, you’ll see that Brooklyn is a beautiful mosaic of faith institutions,” Kevin Jones of S.O.S. Crown Heights. “No matter who your god may be, we’ll step in and answer, to send peace to a community.”
Adams later led the group on a march down Albany Avenue to 738 Empire Boulevard where Rabbi Yossel Raksin lived with his family before he was murdered outside of a Jewish temple on Aug. 9, while visiting relatives in Miami.
After extending their condolences to the Rabbi’s family, the interfaith group laid bouquets of flowers near his property and called for additional support to the religious communities.