Press Release – PDF
The Jewish Community Council of New York (JCRC-NY) is horrified by the assault on Leonard Petlakh, Executive Director of Kings Bay YM-YWHA, on October 7, 2014 outside of the Barclays Center, after a basketball game between the Brooklyn Nets and Israel’s Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv.
The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution enshrines the right to freedom of speech. However, under no circumstances does the Constitution grant the right to engage in violence against individuals with whom one disagrees , regardless of the emotions that may surround personal, local, national, or global issues.
JCRC-NY will not stand idly by and permit rank bias and hatred against Jews — or other groups — to become normative in the City of New York. Indeed, we have no tolerance for intolerance and remain all the more committed to fostering harmony among the diverse population that resides in the metropolitan area.
It’s reassuring that the brutal attack on Mr. Petlakh is being actively and aggressively investigated by the NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force. We look forward to an expeditious arrest of the perpetrator(s) of this heinous crime and expect that they will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
We wish Leonard and his family well and remain disturbed that his two young children witnessed this attack on their father. It is our hope that the arrest and prosecution of the perpetrator(s) will achieve some measure of justice for them all.
Anyone with information about this assault should contact NYPD Crimestoppers at 1-(800) 577-TIPS. Your identity and information will be kept anonymous.