New York, NY, August 19, 2021 ... Thirty years ago on this day, the Jews of Brooklyn’s Crown Heights neighborhood were besieged by one of the most devastating and traumatic antisemitic riots in our nation’s history – the Crown Heights Riots. Jewish families were forced to hide in their homes as mobs roamed their neighborhood, destroying homes, businesses, and synagogues. Jews were assaulted in the streets, and a Jewish scholar from Australia, Yankel Rosenbaum, was stabbed six times by Black teenagers who were heard screaming, “There’s a Jew! Get the Jew! Kill the Jew.” The violence didn’t let up for three days, as more instigators and rioters joined from other neighborhoods.
One of the enduring lessons of the Crown Heights Riots is in acknowledging the responsibility to confront antisemitism, no matter where it is and who is perpetrating it. ADL is proud to work with both Jewish and Black Crown Heights community leaders in confronting the rise of antisemitic incidents in the neighborhood over the last few years.
Those three days 30 years ago should be a constant reminder of the important work in building strong communal bonds which undermine antisemitism and ultimately lead to a prospering community for everyone. Today, we honor the memory of the riots by observing a Crown Heights community that is vibrant, diverse, and united.