PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Local leaders decried Saturday night’s stabbing attack on Jews in a New York City suburb. Five people were rushed to the hospital with one remaining in critical condition. They gathered for a Hannukkah celebration at a rabbi’s home in Monsey.
The suspect, 37-year-old Grafton Thomas, is locked up on $5 million bail. Authorities are treating his spree as an act of domestic terrorism.
In Philadelphia, police say they’re increasing their presence at all synagogues and Jewish facilities.
The attack was heavy on the hearts of people attending a Hanukkah celebration at Boathouse Row.
“I think the thing that’s so sad is, it’s hard to say it’s surprising,” a Philadelphia man said.
“It’s really important for us to come together and say, we’re not against each other. We’re all in this together,” another Philadelphian said.
Speakers also touched upon recent attacks targeting Jews and their commitment to bringing “light into the darkness.”
“We are all entitled to safety, peace and respect. Together with the City of Philadelphia, we at the Jewish Federation will continue to stand up against hate,” Jewish Community Relations Council Chair Arlene Fickler said.
The Jewish Federation of Southern New Jersey is also condemning the attack.
In a statement to CBS3, they said, in part: “We are deeply troubled by the growing pattern of violence that is affecting our communities and the Jewish people. We must stand up and speak out against this hatred. We must take a stand against bigotry. We must eradicate anti-Semitism.”
“It’s important to both mourn with our community and fight anti-Semitism but also understand where hate is impacting other communities and to join together as allies to fight hate with other communities that experience hate,” a Philadelphia man said.
Temple Emanuel in Cherry Hill posted on Facebook that police there are increasing patrols at synagogues as well.
As for the suspect, he’s due back in court on Friday.