NEW YORK – New York City is working to combat a rise in a anti-Semitic attacks.
Now, a non-profit group is reaching out to spread peace. They have a unique way of doing so.
“Hi, what’s your name?” asked Abigail Gluck. It’s a question she has been asking on repeat.
“Than you so much for stopping by,” she said.
During the pop-up event, she and the non-profit are trying to get to know different groups better, and in return teaching them about the Orthodox Jewish community.
“Do you live here in the neighborhood?” she asked.
Some conversations are about relatable topics such as employment, and motherhood.
“There was a boy here throwing a tantrum and I was like ‘My son does that every day,`” Gluck said.
Each discussion has one goal: To spread unity and eliminate bias.
“Nowadays, I see so much polarization, so much hate, so much distrust and fear. Whether it’s Democrats or Republicans, blacks and whites, Jews and not Jews. Whatever group we decide to stick ourselves in and hate the other. But we are just so similar,” Gluck said.
In the wake of recent anti-Semitic attacks like Jersey City and Monsey, and a 26 percent increase in anti-Semitic crimes in New York City, the group says it’s more important now than ever to do this, even videotaping and posting many of their conversations to social media to spread the word.
“It doesn’t create world peace or change the world overnight, but every person that we give a coffee to and exchange some words to, they now become an ambassador for their network of friends,” said Jew In The City founder Allison Josephs.
One by one, they are already changing some hearts and opening minds.
“Living in New York City, that’s what we are supposed to do. Everyone is supposed to be welcoming here regardless of race, creed, color or age,” said East Harlem resident Lolita Johnson.
“I am just hoping everyone is learning at the same time, and this is an informative experience,” said Rachelle Pierre of East Harlem.
An experience that is tearing down walls, and building friendships.
It’s just the first of many pop-ups the nonprofit plans to host.