Indy Rabbi preaches peace following possible anti-Semitic attacks in New York


INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — A series of possibly anti-Semitic attacks in New York marred an end to 2019, but Jews around the country are calling for peace in 2020.

The Circle City is home to an estimated 20,000 Jews. Rabbi Dennis Sasso of Congregation Beth-El Zedeck in Indy says some Hoosiers know people impacted by the attack in upstate New York. During a Hanukkah celebration, five people were stabbed at Rabbi’s house.

“When one hears about these things, one is numbed, even though we have heard about it before,” Sasso said, “Things hit home even when they are not at home.”

At a Shabbat service, Sasso read a letter of solidarity sent to his congregation from Congressman Andre Carson. In it, Carson called the attacks horrifying and said there is a rise in anti-Semitic attacks around the world.

“Last year a synagogue in Carmel was painted with graffiti. There was an immediate outburst of support and solidarity,” Sasso said.

“In these trying times, it becomes even clearer that there is more that unites us than divides,” Carson said in the letter.

Last year, legislators passed a hate crime law, but not without scrutiny, as opponents said it lacked clarity. Currently, the Anti-Defamation League lists Indiana as “not protected”.

“It is better to have it than not to have it, but I agree with those who feel it is not expansive and explicit enough,” Sasso said.

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