New York, NY, April 1, 2020… Over the past few days, ADL and the Jewish Federation and Foundation of Rockland County have seen a number of very concerning and highly antisemitic social media posts arising out of Rockland County. This dangerous rhetoric has resulted in a heightened sense of fear and distrust among residents as well as calls for different treatment towards the Orthodox community in relation to other residents in Rockland County in light of the release of COVID-19 data. In response, ADL and the Federation have released the following statement:
“All of us in Rockland County – residents, community leaders, and elected officials – are facing this public health crisis together. The scapegoating and finger-pointing that we have seen in recent days, coupled with a surge in antisemitism online, serves no purpose other than to distract and divide us. Now is the time for unity, not for placing blame. We call on all people of good faith to reject the blatant antisemitism arising out of Rockland County, to rely only on data that is valid, reliable and accurate, and to heed the advice of medical professionals,” said Evan R. Bernstein, ADL Vice President, Northeast Division. “Rockland County is a strong and resilient community, but only when we work together.”
“This crisis touches every single person in our county, state and country,” said Gary Siepser, Chief Executive Officer, Jewish Federation and Foundation of Rockland County. “In these challenging times, it is vital that we come together to ensure that facts and statistics are used to educate the public in order to keep people healthy – not to point fingers or perpetuate hate.”
“There is absolutely no excuse for public health data to be used in a way that perpetuates antisemitism or hatred,” said Steve Gold, Co-President, Jewish Federation and Foundation of Rockland County. “We are all in this together and it is important to remember that viruses do not discriminate, and neither should we.”
ADL is a leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of antisemitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. ADL is the first call when acts of antisemitism occur. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education and fighting hate online, ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.
The Jewish Federation provides leadership to strengthen the Rockland Jewish community. It convenes the community to address shared concerns, helps those in need, advocates for the safety of Israel and fights every form of anti-Semitism.