Glen Cove, NY - September 25, 2013 - The Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County (HMTC) and the Jewish Community Relations Council of Long Island (JCRC-LI) issued the following statement regarding the Nassau County (NCPD) and Suffolk County (SCPD) investigations of swastikas and racial slurs recently drawn on vehicles in Bethpage and Holbrook.
“The hate crimes in Bethpage and Holbrook serves as a reminder how important it is to be unified in our communities against acts of hate whenever it rears its ugly head. We need to reach out, educate and continue building relationships with each other,” said Steven Markowitz, HMTC Chairman.
Prejudice, discrimination and bigotry of all kinds continue in America. The Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County uses the lessons of the Holocaust to encourage acceptance of, and respect for, diversity. The Holocaust did not occur overnight and, like any genocide, was preventable. Hatred and persecution were allowed to flourish because of apathy and lack of intervention.
According to the Hon. Francis X. Becker, Jr., Co-Chair, Nassau County Anti-Bias Crime Task Force, “The recent incidents of swastikas being painted on cars in Holbrook and Bethpage are both sad and disturbing. Law enforcement is right to investigate these acts as hate crimes. People of the Jewish faith are valued and important members of our community. As Long Islanders, we stand firmly with them in condemning these cowardly, intentional acts of hatred whose purpose is to diminish the peace and freedom provided them under our Constitution.”
“Hate crimes tear against the fabric of our society. It’s of critical importance that we remain united in our fight against hate crimes and the Suffolk County Police Department will use all of its resources in that endeavor,” said Det. Lt. Stephen Hernandez, Suffolk County Police Department Commanding Officer.
“Long Island is a community of communities and hate crimes are a glaring example of why we need to increase interactions among communities. Greater communication will remove the fear of the unknown and promote a more civil society,” said Arthur Katz, JCRC-LI Chairman.
Zahid Syed, Nassau County Human Rights Commission Chairman said, “There is no place in Nassau County for those individuals who are committing acts of hatred against anyone based on race, religion or other perceived differences. We stand with our Jewish brothers and sisters.”
We call on government, community leaders and the media to become more proactive – to partner with us to, educate and create a deeper level of understanding and respect among all people. It is in this spirit of unity that we know hate and bigotry cannot exist.
About the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County
The Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County is the pre-eminent Holocaust resource on Long Island, with a contemporary museum and is one of the largest and most comprehensive education program providers in the region. Since 2007, nearly 210,000 students, educators, employers and law enforcement personnel have participated in the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center’s education programs.
Under construction and scheduled to open in January 2014, the Claire Friedlander Education Institute will accommodate four classrooms with state-of-the-art audio-visual aids and cutting edge technical equipment for specialized Holocaust video-conferencing programs and a wide variety of workshops for youth and adults.
With the Louis Posner Memorial Library, the Center offers over 7,000 volumes of Holocaust, genocide, multicultural, anti-bias and anti-bullying material for youth and adults, from Kindergarten through post-graduate researchers. It is the largest such collection on Long Island. Additional information is available online at: www.holocaust-nassau.org
About the Jewish Community Relations Council of Long Island (JCRC-LI)
The mission of JCRC-LI is to inform and mobilize the Long Island community to take action locally, nationally, and internationally to address community relations issues important to both the Jewish and non-Jewish communities. JCRC-LI focuses on serving as an umbrella for Jewish institutions across Long Island, fostering positive and meaningful inter-group relationships, serving as a resource for information and advocacy about Israel and international affairs to the Jewish and non-Jewish communities of Long Island and maintaining an on-going dialogue between the Jewish community and governmental officials at the local, state and federal level.
For more information about this release and the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County, please contact:
Contact: Jennifer Carpenter Low
Cell Phone: (516) 658-3249
Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County
Welwyn Preserve, 100 Crescent Beach Road
Glen Cove, New York 11542
Fax (516) 571-8041