Rabbi Marvin Hier, dean and founder of Simon Wiesenthal Center, plans Monday to urge President Donald Trump to instruct the FBI to create a special task force in response to a series of attacks against Jews and their religious institutions.
“This ongoing epidemic of anti-Semitic attacks needs to be treated,” Hier said Sunday. “Enough is enough. Jews should not have to fear for their lives in America to go their houses of worship.”
Hier delivered one of three benedictions following Trump’s 2017 swearing-in.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center is also urging black leaders to speak out against the spate of recent hate crimes in New York and New Jersey carried out by African Americans.
The center, based in the Pico-Robertson district, is an international Jewish human rights organization that combats hate and anti-Semitism around the world.
Hier’s comments came one day after five people were hospitalized as the result of a machete attack at the home of a rabbi in Monsey, New York, 36 miles north of New York City. All but one of the victims had been released from the hospital by Sunday afternoon, according to The New York Times.
“`The anti-Semitic attack in Monsey, New York, on the 7th night of Hanukkah last night is horrific,” Trump tweeted Sunday. “We must all come together to fight, confront, and eradicate the evil scourge of anti-Semitism.”
New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, visiting the rabbi’s home on Sunday morning, called the attack an “act of domestic terrorism.”
A 38-year-old suspect was later arrested in Harlem in connection with the attack.
The attack prompted the Los Angeles Police Department to increase patrols near synagogues “out of an abundance of caution,” according to Chief Michel Moore.
“The LAPD stands with members of our Jewish community,” Moore tweeted Sunday. “Out of an abundance of caution, we have increased patrols in and around Jewish communities and places of worship in response to last nights horrific anti-Semitic attack in New York.
“There is no place for hate in Los Angeles.”
Mayor Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles’ first elected Jewish mayor, also referred in a tweet Sunday to a shooting at a church near Fort Worth, Texas that left two people attending the service dead before the suspect was fatally shot.
“The tragic attacks on faith communities in New York & Texas seek to make us afraid in our homes & sanctuaries, the places where we should feel safest,” Garcetti tweeted. “But we refuse to live in fear. We will respond to anti-semitism & all forms of hate & violence with courage, solidarity & love.”