Agudath Israel of America held a productive meeting with New York Attorney General Letitia James to address pressing concerns on important issues affecting the Orthodox Jewish community in New York.
Agudath Israel has had a longstanding relationship with the Attorney General, working together with her for the past 20 years – first as a NYC Councilmember representing a district that includes Crown Heights, then as Public Advocate, and now as Attorney General.
The discussion focused on religious discrimination in zoning matters and the rise in hate crimes targeting those who are visibly Jewish.
The Agudath Israel delegation, led by Rabbi Yeruchim Silber, director of New York government relations for Agudath Israel, raised concerns about discriminatory practices that have impacted the establishment and expansion of religious institutions, particularly shuls and yeshivas, and thanked Attorney General James for her work in combatting such practices.
Addressing the rising trend of antisemitic hate crimes targeting Orthodox Jews in New York, the Attorney General expressed her deep concern and reaffirmed her commitment to protecting the Orthodox Jewish community.
Another critical topic discussed was the ongoing challenge of the prevalence of anti-orthodox sentiments in the media. Agudath Israel presented its KnowUs initiative, aimed at combating misconceptions and biases against the Orthodox Jewish community. The Attorney General expressed her support, emphasizing the need to foster mutual respect and understanding among different religious groups.
During the meeting, Attorney General James expressed her deep concern regarding the recent commencement address given by a graduate of the City University of New York (CUNY) law school. The Attorney General emphasized her commitment to combatting antisemitism in all forms and her determination to ensure that institutions of higher education remain safe and inclusive for Jewish students.
New York Attorney General Letitia James said, “In the face of rising antisemitism, civic leaders have a responsibility to step up, speak out, and stand united with members of the greater Jewish Community. Agudath Israel has been a leader for New York’s Orthodox Jewish Community, and has provided essential services and support to thousands of families. I am proud to work with Agudath Israel on the pressing issues impacting our communities, and my office will continue to investigate hate crimes and combat discrimination. I will never allow intolerance, antisemitism, and ignorance to go unchallenged in this state.”