Local members of Jewish community march in New York to combat anti-Semitism

Nearly 200 local members of the Jewish community made a powerful display of solidarity in New York on Sunday.

NEWTON, Mass. — Nearly 200 local members of the Jewish community made a powerful display of solidarity in New York on Sunday. An estimated 25,000 people marched across the Brooklyn Bridge Sunday following a series of anti-Semitic attacks.

Three buses that left the Boston area at 5 a.m. Sunday morning returned with a renewed encouragement in taking a stand against a rise in anti-Semitic attacks and hate crimes.

As they got off their buses and into their cars at the Jewish Community Center in Newton, the folks who Boston 25 News spoke with told us they were taking a sense of empowerment home with them.

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“From the minute we got here you could tell people were energized, excited and wanted to do something in the face of a challenging time,” said Marc Baker, the president and CEO of Combined Jewish Philanthropies.

They headed to New York as a group of nearly 200 and, 15 hours later, arrived home in the Boston area feeling part of something so much larger.

“We were walking next to people who had a cross and a Jewish star, saying we stand with our Jewish brothers and sisters,” Baker said. “You could feel the love coming from every direction.”

“The rally not only had Jews from all over, but it had politicians and representatives from various communities coming out and saying we support you,” said David Bernat of the Synagogue Council of Massachusetts.

Those local members of the Jewish community were among an estimated 25,000 people who descended on New York Sunday to march in the “No Hate No Fear Solidarity March” across the Brooklyn Bridge.

“It took us close to four hours to cross the Brooklyn Bridge because there were so many people,” said Robert Trestan, a director at the Anti-Defamation League in New England.

Trestan says people from all over the Boston area set their alarms early, filling up three buses to show their commitment in fighting back against discrimination, bigotry and violence following recent anti-Semitic attacks in New York and New Jersey.

“The Jewish community is feeling vulnerable,” Trestan said. “Doesn’t matter what part of [the] U.S. you are living in, that vulnerability hits deep, it hits deep into families and that’s what motivated everybody to go. It could be us.”

Those folks told Boston 25 News that, while they were at the rally in New York, they received a constant stream of support and inspiring messages from here at home. Some of that came from local leaders, including Cardinal O’Malley and Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley.