A group of 10th grade Yeshivat Tiferes Yisroel students were accosted by an armed man in New York's Flatbush neighborhood on Monday, according to Yeshiva World News.
The driver of an unspecified vehicle stopped beside the students, rolled down his windows, and waved his firearm. “Go home,” he told the students, who immediately ran back to yeshiva and reported the event to their teachers.
The Flatbush Shomrim, a community organization dedicated to combatting crime, and the New York Police Department (NYPD) were called to investigate. After extensively canvassing the area, the Shomrim could not find the perpetrator or the vehicle.
How did the NYPD respond?
The NYPD has pledged to increase patrols in the area surrounding the yeshiva because this attack was not isolated. On Thursday, mere days after the previous incident, another Flatbush yeshiva student––this one from Veretzksy Yeshiva––was attacked. Three men verbally assaulted him, stole his wallet, and then fled the scene. The NYPD and the Shomrim responded, but to no avail. The suspects were neither identified nor apprehended.
These attacks are a part of a frightening pattern. The NYPD reported that arrests for attacks on Jews have increased 45% this year. Further, they have recorded 149 antisemitic hate crime incidents between the beginning of 2022 and June 28, compared to the 106 at that time last year, a 29% uptick.
"In the wake of these senseless attacks, we deployed round-the-clock house of worship cars to routinely visit synagogues."NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell
“In the wake of these senseless attacks,” NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell said in response to recent antisemitic hate crimes at a press conference in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. “We deployed round-the-clock house of worship cars to routinely visit synagogues … We increased patrols to visit sensitive locations”
“Is this going to help if it’s happening two blocks away from the synagogue?"Williamsburg Jewish Community Council President Rabbi Moishe Indig
Williamsburg Jewish Community Council President Rabbi Moishe Indig, who attended the press conference, does not believe the increase in police presence will effectively deter the attacks. “There were three hate crimes last week. Nothing was in front of a synagogue,” Indig said. “Is this going to help if it’s happening two blocks away from the synagogue? Probably not.”
United Jewish Organization Chairman Sam Stern, who was also in attendance at the conference, expressed more confidence in the NYPD. “We are going to see if they really are more visible,” Stern added. “The fact that [the commissioner] came down and gave us this level of attention, it means that they’re taking it seriously.”
Although the NYPD was not able to apprehend either of the Flatbush attacks’ perpetrators, they have taken other measures to make members of the Brooklyn Jewish community feel safe.
Jacob Henry/JTA contributed to this report