Boro Park: AG Barr Says Hate Crimes WIll Be Prosecuted As Federal Offense; Is Concerned About Interference With Yeshiva Education


United States Attorney General William Barr visited Boro Park on Tuesday, as he met with Jewish leaders following the recent rise in anti-semitic attacks targeting Jews in Brooklyn.

Barr said he is “extremely distressed” about recent acts of intimidation and violence against Jewish communities, and said federal authorities will be lowering their levels of tolerance for acts of anti-Semitism moving forward in order to more aggressively prosecute hate crimes cases.

Among items discussed in the meeting, the AG said he is issuing a directive to U.S. Attorney’s Officers around the United States to “reinvigorate their relationship and outreach to Jewish communities” in response to recent acts of anti-Semitic intimidation/violence against Jews.

Barr told leaders that the Justice Department is working with the FBI to pursue suspects responsible for anti-Semitic incidents locally and nationally, and bring them to justice.

The AG also said that Hate Crime incidents will be prosecuted as a federal offenses if the incident fits criteria. This is something that YWN has called for in more than 25 articles in the past few years. There would be no greater deterrent to hate crimes, than federal charges, which have hefty jail-sentences – much longer than NYC releasing suspects an hour later with no bail.

To bring the point home, the AG announced new federal charges unsealed against Tiffany Harris, a woman accused of slapping three Orthodox Jewish women in Crown Heights in December. As YWN had reported, Harris had been released on bail when she attacked another woman and was released on bail again.

“We are charging her federally,” Barr said, inserting the federal government into the highly charged debate in New York over the state’s new bail reform law.

The federal complaint said Harris knew she was walking through the “Jewish neighborhood,” and she allegedly told police she recalled slapping the women, cursing at them and saying to them, “(Expletive) you, Jews.”

The Attorney General said he is “very concerned” about actions of prior administrations that attempted to restrict the curriculum of religious schools.

Attendees included Allen Fagin of the Orthodox Union, Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel of Agudath Israel, Rabbi Moshe David Niederman of the Williamsburg UJO, Rabbi Meir Soloveitchik and Michael Miller of the JCRC.

Rabbi David Niederman told Barr that three of his siblings were murdered by Nazis during the Holocaust and says: “I cannot tell you how much it means to us when you say our federal government will have zero tolerance towards hate.”

On Monday YWN reported that not one Orthodox Jewish elected official representing the Brooklyn Jewish communities was invited. Following that story, a writer for the Yated and Mishpacha Magazine, Yochonon Donn, (previously of the Hamodia) publicly attacked YWN on social media for this story. Donn incorrectly claimed that YWN questioned why “No Orthodox Invited”, when in fact YWN questioned why no Orthodox Jewish elected officials – as well as the organizations on the front lines at every single hate crime – were not invited. While The UJO of Satmar, Agudath Israel and other organizations do wonderful work, they are not on the streets confronting hate head-on such as Shomrim, Misaskim and other leading community organizations and activists, and they should of been invited to this meeting.

(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)


  1. there is no problem with who is invited its all photo ops . what exactley is a jewish leader , its a joke , its feel good nonsense, so the ou and the agudah can talk about how great they are and the satmar can continue to hate the state of israel, what wonderful leaders

  2. The solution to antisemitism is to be more Jewish. Learn a blat gemara, work on your midos, and be honest in business and that will be a great shemira for klal yisrael than every frum Jew carrying a gun. Barr has done a lot for respecting religious freedom in the medina shel chesed, so this meeting was for hakaras hatov if anything. Who cares if no frum politician came? Stop thinking kochi v’otzen yadi.

  3. Can you imagine how the local Democratic Party would have reacted had any of their elected officials would have attended and recognized, let alone appreciate, the role of the Trump administration?

  4. YWNisLame, with your ideas, many may get hurt or killed. I agree that we should all learn more, improve our middos, increase tzedaka and chesed, etc— BUT the difference between you and I is that I believe one needs all of the above AND increase funding and security/vigilance for shuls and yeshivas, responsibly and legally train teams to work a fire-arm, and coordinate with law enforcement and politicians for protection. We sadly can’t have one option without the other.

  5. Let’s note here on this post and for the previous one commenting that no local Frum Governmental representatives were “invited” to this sit-down. Fact of the matter is that our Frum Government representatives were NOT needed here. They all have busy schedules. Let’s please keep in mind this is the Trump administration not the Obama one. Truthfully the relationship the AG has with the community was forged over 30 years ago. The late Rabbi Sherer, z”l made the strong connection with AG Burr back in the days of the first Bush administration. The Rabbi’s initiative back then is paying dividends today. Please notice ybl’ch, Rabbi Zwiebel sitting immediately to the right of the AG. The AG knows what is needed to overcome the looney left who now control NYS/NYC. He’s clearly addressing this here. Let our representatives have the time to do their best to deal with the NYS/NYC insanity.

  6. Is someone charged with a hate crime under federal civil rights laws subject to the federal bail system? If so, was the woman referenced in the story held w/o bail or has she not been formally arraigned?

  7. Nomoremeshugas – Explain how “Rabbi Zweibel” will be dealing with the hate? Enlighten us all.
    Ok. I will.
    Agudath israel of America will send a press release to YWN, it will be published. And then? Waiting to hear from you.

    REAL people who know the facts should have been invited. Not rabbi Zweible who spent the past year 24.7 busy with the Siyum Hashas. He knows nothing about the facts on the ground. Nothing at all.
    This meeting was a J-O-K-E.

  8. The local elected Orthodox are just powerless hotheads whose favorite activity is acting in front of cameras. They weren’t needed and thankfully weren’t invited.

  9. Reb (Rebitzin, as the case may be) Ferd. You appear to be seriously misinformed. This was not a meeting to inform the AG. He is on top of the situation and actively attacking the total abdication of responsibility by NYS/NYC to combat the terror we experience within our neighborhoods. He doesn’t need our local government reps to educate him. He knows the situation and is taking charge. One can reasonably imagine that had Hillary or Obama faced this local NYS/NYC looney left government, their response via the Idiot former AG Holder or corrupt AG Lynch, would have likely been NOT to challenge the looney left local authority and stay out of it. The Trump administration via this current AG, has vigorously challenged this looney left environment by establishing federal jurisdiction; be it federal law, be it real bail, etc. No revolving door here. The meeting was an acknowledgment of thanks (Aka hakoras hatoiv) to the AG for the prompt and real federal intervention. AG Burr needs to hear our appreciation IN PERSON.
    I further suggest you extend proper respect to Rabbi Zwiebel; you have zero idea how deeply invested he is on a plethora of community issues. His askonas lemaan haklall is BOUNDLESS. I live in his area and often see him doing this nearly every minute of his busy day. Your cynicism is wrongly focused. With a name moniker that you chose, you ought to have a better sense of direction. Please reset your GPS.

  10. Where do Shomrim or elected officials come in? The AG was trying to reassure the community, and for that no shomrim member was needed. Nor was any elected official, who although might do great Askunes for the Klal, they still aren’t leaders. Had the Anti Vaxers used Shomrims letterhead for their messages YWN wouldn’t have felt the need to come out…