Tuesday, August 15, 2023 5:21PM
SUFFOLK COUNTY (WABC) — Suffolk County announced a new initiative to combat antisemitism.
Starting this week, people can report anti-Semitic incidents to the county’s 311 call center.
Workers at the 311 call center underwent special training on how to handle anti-Semitic incident reports.
“No matter how small, report all,” Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said. “You can do it by calling 311, it’s as easy as that and just as important.”
Officials are working with the Suffolk County Jewish American Advisory Board to launch the program.
“The Jewish Advisory Board is grateful to Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, Deputy County Executive Jon Kaiman and the administration for their diligence and leadership in the fight against antisemitism. Harnessing the county’s 311 helpline to collect more accurate details on antisemitism is the logical next step to the county’s early embrace of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism, which the county adopted in 2021 under an executive order by County Executive Bellone. Define antisemitism, then fine-tune the tools to fight it. The pioneering work of the County Executive and his administration can model how communities around the country-indeed, around the globe-can fight antisemitism and hatred,” said Allan Richter, Chairman of the Suffolk County Jewish Advisory Board.
According to a report by the American Jewish Committee, 84% of Jewish Americans don’t report anti-Semitic incidents because they don’t think they’re serious enough, or that anything will be done about it.
Officials remind residents they should still call 911 for incidents involving violence.
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