The recent spate of hate incidents across the country targeting Jews has hit home for Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz, whose Manhattan office received an anti-Semitic letter on November 12 that shook the Forest Hills lawmaker. “It has very vulgar language. I was very offended by it and taken aback, especially now with everything that’s going on,” Koslowitz said in an interview with the New York Post.
The rambling note, filled with spelling errors, referenced last month’s massacre in Pittsburgh and Koslowitz’s support for immigrants. “You had been defending all stinky, filthy, dirty Jewish population in New York City as well as the stinks [expletive] living in Israel, russia, former soviet union countries, in western European and Latin American countries.”
Koslowitz noted that she has known anti-Semitism her entire life. “My grandfather in 1923 was killed because he was Jewish. They came to his house and they took him out and they killed him only because he was Jewish,” Koslowitz said. The murder prompted her family to pack their belongings and they quickly fled from Poland. In her youth she learned of the millions killed in Europe.
As Councilwoman, Koslowitz assisted Bukharian Jews as they settled in her district over the past 30 years, providing them guidance in dealing with city agencies and advocacy organizations. Last week, she attended the forum at Beit Gavriel that addressed the beating of a Bukharian teenager on 108th Street in an act that many in the community suspect to have been motivated by hate. The police do not consider the hate letter sent to Koslowitz as a crime, but promised to monitor for further instances of hate in Forest Hills.
David Aronov, a staffer for Koslowitz, said that in the days after the hate letter was reported, her office has been receiving numerous calls expressing support and sympathy for her. “Constituents in the district have shown their appreciation for Karen and she appreciates it,” Aronov said.
By Sergey Kadinsky