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By Sen. Charles E. Schumer

Each Rosh Hashanah, as I gather with my family and loved ones, I spend time reflecting on the year that has passed and spend time thinking about the Jewish practice of tikkun olam: repairing the world. This year in particular, these thoughts will be even more compelling.

Last month, cowards carrying tiki torches marched through the streets of Charlottesville and the University of Virginia, chanting racist and anti-Semitic slurs. And, along the way, neo-Nazis armed with semiautomatic rifles lurked outside Congregation Beth Israel chanting “Sieg Heil” and “There’s the synagogue” while congregants inside the temple continued on with their Shabbat service. Even before the events in Charlottesville, we saw all-too-frequent reports of swastikas in our neighborhoods, Jewish cemeteries vandalized and desecrated, and a wave of bomb threats to Jewish community centers and day schools.

As Hebrew Year 5778 commences, we are reminded of the struggles that the Jewish people have overcome and we are re-energized on our path to a better future. Many of us use this time to think about our goals for the year ahead.

This year, I ask that you think about what you can do to promote the American virtues of pluralism, democracy and human rights—for Jews and non-Jews alike. I ask that you speak out and fight against injustice and intolerance when it arises. We must stand together and show those who traffic in hatred and bigotry that we will not abide their hate but rather carry the day.

As Senate minority leader, I will continue to speak loudly and fight vigilantly against hate in the new year. And I promise to continue working hard on behalf of all of New York’s communities.

I wish you all peace and prosperity. L’shana tovah, best wishes and a sweet new year to you and your loved ones! 

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