Broome County Sheriff Fred Akshar joined leaders from the local Jewish Community, local law enforcement, and representatives from the federal, state, and local government to publicly reaffirm the community’s commitment to the safety and security of Jewish families and families of every faith as they celebrate the holiday season.

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The message of solidarity and support comes as the Hanukkah Holiday begins today, December 7, as antisemitic rhetoric continues to be on the rise following the October 7 Hamas terrorist attacks. The October attacks took place during the prior Jewish holidays of Shemini Atzeret & Simchat Torah and nearly 50 years after the surprise attack that sparked the Yom Kippur war in Israel.

Sheriff Fred Akshar, in acknowledging the current dark moment facing the country, expressed his unwavering belief in the inherent brightness of the community. Despite the rising tide of antisemitism across the nation, Akshar emphasized the unity and solidarity that exists within the Southern Tier community, particularly with their Jewish friends.

From a law enforcement perspective, Akshar reassured the community that every possible measure is being taken to ensure the safety and well-being of the Jewish families, enabling them to celebrate the holiday season just like any other family in Broome County.

Rabbi Levi Slonim, deeply appreciative of the message conveyed by community leaders, highlighted the significance of the statement in rejecting hatred and creating an environment where Jewish families and students feel comfortable expressing their religion and celebrating the holiday.

Dr. Stephen Malkin expressed gratitude for the community's abundance of diversity, emphasizing the values of kindness, respect, and tolerance for all faiths that prevail within it.

Former Congressman Lee Zeldin extended his support, specifically addressing the Jewish students of Binghamton University and all college campuses across the state and the nation. He assured them that numerous individuals were standing alongside them, ready to offer their unwavering support.

Saul Hakim, the president of the BU Zionist Organization and a Binghamton University student, proudly embraced his identity and acknowledged the presence of a strong support system in the community. With confidence, he stated that he and fellow Jewish students can feel protected and reassured, as there are people who are deeply committed to their well-being. He further expressed hope that every Jewish student would receive this message and find the same comfort and security that he experiences.

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