Queens, New York -- August 24, 2022
Avi Posnick, Executive Director of StandWithUs Northeast & New England spoke at a press conference called by Queens Assembly Member Jenifer Rajkumar and NYC Mayor Eric Adams on August 24 to mobilize and unify the community against Hindu-phobia, antisemitism, racism and other forms of hate. The press conference was held at Tulsi Mundir, the Hindu temple whose statue of Mahatma Gandhi was recently vandalized.
Avi Posnick was introduced by Jenifer Rajkumar. She said that, "Avi leads the Jewish community in standing with all things against hate. We have been very moved by his support and by the support from the Jewish community standing against anti-Hindu hate." He told the assembled group:
Thank you to Mayor Adams and Assembly Member Rajkumar for organizing this gathering and bringing the community and city together to stand against the vile hateful acts that blemish our city. While we are all concerned about the rise of racism, Hindu phobia, antisemitism, and other manifestations of hate in New York and around the world, we are even more concerned about the increase of these hateful acts and rhetoric in our schools. No one is born hating. No one is born a racist. They have to be taught. What are we teaching today's students, and who are the leaders of tomorrow? What are we teaching our future mayors, assembly members, borough presidents, members of congress, community leaders and policy makers?
We must educate them today before their hearts and minds are poisoned tomorrow. As Mahatma Gandhi said, “The future depends on what we do in the present.” Today, here and now, in the present moment is when we must take a united stand to ensure our students learn not only to tolerate other races, religions, and ethnic identities, but to respect them.
At StandWithUs, we will continue to strengthen our bonds with our Hindu brothers and sisters, and we will always stand with them. United we can continue to educate and empower more students and communities to fight racism, Hindu-phobia, antisemitism, and hate.
Also speaking at the press conference were: Andrew Arias, head of NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force; Melinda Katz, Queens District Attorney; Assemblyman David Weprin and NYC Council Members Linda Lee and Joann Ariola, Jim Gennaro and NYC Council Speaker Adrienne Adams was also represented.
StandWithUs is an international, nonprofit, and non-partisan Israel education organization that works to inspire and educate people of all ages about Israel, challenge misinformation, and fight against antisemitism.
Through university fellowships, high school internships, middle school curricula, conferences, materials, social media, educational films, and missions to Israel, StandWithUs supports people around the world who want to educate their schools and communities about Israel.
Founded in 2001 and headquartered in Los Angeles, the organization has chapters and programs on seven continents, including the U.S., Israel, UK, Canada, South Africa, Brazil, and Australia. For the last eleven years, StandWithUs has consistently received the highest possible ratings from Charity Navigator (4-stars) and GuideStar (Platinum).