As Orthodox Jewish families continue to move to the suburbs outside New York City, some fear that intolerance for their expansion is quickly increasing.
Many believe the fatal shooting that took the lives of six people on December 10 and the violent home invasion during a Hanukkah celebration on December 28, in which five people were stabbed, were both motivated by anti-Semitism.
Executive Director of the United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburg Rabbi David Niederman is adamant that the attacks were motivated by "pure hatred":
"If you have tensions, what you do is you sit down at a table; that's how you deal with tensions," Niederman said. "You don't go out and murder people. You don't go out with a butcher knife and almost kill a whole congregation."
Rabbi Yisroel Kahan, administrative director of the Oizrim Jewish Council, says that the bigotry toward the community "has been tolerated for far too long."
According to an executive from Rockland County — a county 15 miles north of Manhattan that has the largest Jewish population per capita of any U.S. county — certain religious necessities for the Orthodox commnunity creates "demands that are counter to many of the communities they're residing in."
The Orthodox community requires certain housing accommodations due to the size of their families and the necessity to be within walking distance of a synagogue.
Legal fights over zoning decisions and housing rules have cropped up in other towns as well, although it is unclear if they are tied to the attacks.