Congregation Beth Elohim deplores the recent anti-Semitic attack evening against our friend and colleague Leonard Petlakh, Executive Director of the Kings Bay Y, who was beaten by pro-Palestinian demonstrators after attending the Brooklyn Nets v Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball game at the Barclays Center with his family.
Leonard suffered a broken nose and lacerations requiring eight stitches. He is safe and home recovering. Hate and violence have no place in our diverse city. This attack is totally deplorable and we demand that the NYPD will do all in its power to apprehend and prosecute those responsible for this crime.
As a leader in the Jewish community of New York, reaching across Jewish, Christian and Muslim communities to strengthen our diversity with a voice of tolerance and respect, Leonard is the very model of the Jewish ethic of "love thy neighbor as thyself."
We wish Leonard a full recovery and pray that our city's leaders will speak out against this anti-Jewish incident and all acts of hate.
On the Eve of Sukkot, a holy day on the Jewish calendar celebrating both Freedom and the Blessing of a Harvest, we are especially mindful of the need to strengthen our community in the spirit of friendship and gratitude. Together and tolerant we are a stronger, better city.
Rabbi Andy Bachman