'People are scared': Recent attacks rattle Brooklyn Jewish community

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) – Two members of the Jewish community in Crown Heights were attacked on the street this month and now fear is spreading through this Brooklyn neighborhood.

Rabbi Yaacov Behrman, founder of the Jewish Future Alliance, tells 1010 WINS people are frightened to walk the streets.

 “There’s something very wrong with that – in 2019, that a Jewish family living in Crown Heights is scared to leave their home or is scared that their children should leave their home,” Behrman said.  

The first attack was on the afternoon of Jan. 3. A 33-year-old Jewish woman was walking on Crown Street when, without a word, someone punched her in the face.

Then on Empire Boulevard on Saturday night, a Jewish man was surrounded by a group of teens, one of whom asked, “Do you want to fight?”

The attacker didn’t wait for an answer before clocking the young man in the face, knocking him to the sidewalk.

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The assaults have the rabbi asking, “What’s wrong with our society? What’s wrong with Crown Heights?”

“Innocents are being beaten in the streets. Is someone preaching hate? Is there an atmosphere that is encouraging violence and anti-Semitism?” he said.

In the fall, the NYPD said there’s been more hate crimes in the city, particularly against Jewish people, compared to the same time the previous year.

A Jewish man was sucker punched in Williamsburg in December, and a 9-year-old boy was punched in the face in that neighborhood weeks before.