MetroFocus: June 9, 2021

New statistics confirm that New York City is in the midst of a disturbing rise in hate crimes. According to the latest NYPD report, incidents have nearly doubled in the first five months of this year, compared to the same period last year and while much of the hate has been directed at the city’s Asian community, there has also been a spike in antisemitic attacks as well as bias crimes targeting various religious communities. Concurrently, the overall rise in gun violence across the city has reached churches and other houses of worship. In response, three national and New York City-based organizations have joined forces to create “The Interfaith Security Council” designed to share best practices in communal security, speak out in one voice against violent extremism, and help ensure the safety and well-being of all faith-based communities. Tonight as part of our Exploring Hate initiative, some of the council’s founders and participants- Evan Bernstein, CEO and National Director of The Community Security Service, Pastor Gil Monrose, President of the 67th Precinct Clergy Council in Brooklyn, Sheikh Musa Drammeh, a Bronx based community activist and founder of The Muslim Media Corporation and Rabbi Bob Kaplan, director of The Center for Communal Leadership at The Jewish Community Relations Council of New York join us to discuss the work they’re doing with local law enforcement and communities to combat the violent extremism and the rise in hate.

 

TRANSCRIPT

> THIS IS 'METRO FOCUS' WITH RAFAEL, JACK FORD AND JENNA FLANAGAN.

'METRO FOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY SILVA A. AND SIMON PROGRAMMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT ANTI-SEMITISM AND JOAN FUND, BERNARD AND DECEA DENISE SCHWAR BY JANET SIDLER, JODY AND JOHN ARNHOLD, JUDY AND JOSH WESTIN.

DR. ROBERT C FOUNDATION.

♪ ♪

> GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO 'METRO FOCUS.'

I'M JACK FORD.

NEW NUMBERS CONFIRM NEW YORK CITY IS IN THE MIDST OF A DISTURBING RISE IN HATE CRIME.

PUT INTO THE LATEST REPORTS FROM THE NYPD.

HATE CRIMES FROM THE FIRST FIVE MONTHS OF THIS YEAR DOUBLED COMPARED TO THE SAME PERIOD LAST YEAR.

MUCH OF THE HATE IS DIRECTED AT THE CITY'S ASIAN COMMUNITY, THERE IS ALSO A SPIKE IN ANTI SAY ME S S SEMETIC ATTACKS AND GUN VIOLENCE REACHED THE INSIDE OF CHURCHES AND OTHER HOUSES OF WORSHIP.

IN RESPONSE TO THE VIOLENCE, A GROUP OF NEW YORK ORGANIZATIONS RECENTLY CONVENED THE INITIATIVE CREATED TO INCREASE SECURITY AND SPEAK OUT AGAINST VIOLENT EXTREMISM.

TONIGHT, AS PART OF OUR EXPLORING HATE INITIATIVE EXAMINING THE ROOTS AND RISE OF ANTI-SEMITISM, RACISM AND EXTREMISM IN AMERICA, WE'LL TALK TO SOME OF THE FOUNDERS AND PARTICIPANTS IN THIS GROUP SO THEY CAN SHARE THEIR IDEAS WITH US.

SO, JOINING US THIS EVENING, WE'RE DELIGHTED TO HAVE EVAN BERNSTEIN, THE COMMUNITY SERVICE AND FOUNDING CO-CHAIR OF THE SECURITY COUNSEL.

PASTOR GILLMAN ROSE, PRESIDENT OF THE 67th PRECINCT CLERGY COUNSEL IN BROOKLYN.

A BRONZE BASED COMMUNITY ACTIVIST AND FOUNDER OF THE MUSLIM MEDIA CORPORATION AND RABBI BOB CAPTAIN, DIRECTOR FOR THE CENTER OF COMMUNAL LEADERSHIP COUNSEL OF NEW YORK.

SO WELCOME TO ALL OF YOU AND THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SPENDING TIME WITH US TONIGHT.

APPRECIATE IT.

EVAN, CAN I START WITH YOU AS ONE OF THE CO-FOUNDERS OF THIS GROUP.

YOU EACH HAVE VARIOUS PHYSICAL LOCATIONS AND ALSO MISSIONS IN WHAT YOU'RE DOING.

WHAT WAS THEN BEHIND THE IDEA THAT SAID LET'S CREATE A COALESCE AND REACH OUT TO THESE GROUPS AND FIGURE OUT A WAY TO BIND OURSELVES TOGETHER AND PERFORM SOME OF THESE IMPORTANT FUNCTIONS IN THE INTRODUCTION?

WELL, THANK YOU, JACK, FOR HAVING US AND SUPPORT AND CONVERSATION.

WE APPRECIATE IT.

THE EMPHASIS BEHIND THIS IS WHEN I STARTED A YEAR AGO, THE NEW CEO WAS HAVING CONVERSATIONS WITH MITCH SILVER WHO HAD RECORD COMMUNITY SECURITY RECORD PART OF THE FEDERATION OF NEW YORK AND TALKING ABOUT THE NEED BEYOND THE JEWISH COMMUNITY AND TRYING TO FIND WAYS THAT WE COULD BRING SECURITY, WHICH IS NOW ACROSS THE COUNTRY AND WHAT WE DECIDED TO FIND THE FIRST UNDERSTANDING WAS THAT WE NEED TOGETHER.

THE FIRST CONVERSATION WAS BRINGING RABBI BOB AND PASTOR GILL AND OBVIOUSLY SHAKEN AND OTHER GROUP MEMBERS NOW BECAUSE WE KNOW THIS IS SUCH A CRITICAL MOMENT IN OUR NATION'S HISTORY AND CITY'S HISTORY AND WE NEED TO DO THIS TOGETHER AND SECURITY UNFORTUNATELY MAY BE A BRIDGE THAT CAN BUILD RELATIONSHIPS CO-WHHAT -- TO COALITIONS NOW.

I THINK VISUAL IMAGE, THE JOINING TOGETHER IN ADDITION TO PRACTICALLY WHAT YOU'VE BEEN DOING BUT FOR OUR VIEWERS TO UNDERSTAND, LET ME ASK YOU TO GIVE A QUICK CAPITALIZATION OF YOUR ORGANIZATION AND WHAT THEY DO.

PASTOR GILL, YOU FIRST.

THANK YOU SO MUCH, JACK, FOR THAT QUESTION AND FOR BEING ON THIS PLATFORM.

GOOD AFTERNOON.

THE GOD SQUAD IS A GROUP OF PASTORS WHO DECIDED TO RESPOND TO THE VIOLENCE THAT WE SAW IN OUR COMMUNITIES AND TO BE ABLE TO TRIAGE THOSE FAMILIES TO HELP GIVE HIM CLERGY SUPPORT AND SERVE OTHER BRIDGES BETWEEN THE COMMUNITY AND POLICE DEPARTMENT IN OUR LOCAL AREA.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

YEAH, THANK YOU FOR HAVING US.

YOU KNOW, AFTER 9/11 MY WIFE AND I HAVE DECIDED THAT WE'LL CHANGE THE WORLD AND WE'LL CHANGE THE MUSLIM WORLD AND AS CRAZY AS IT MAY SOUND, YOU KNOW, WE ARE ON OUR WAY IN CHANGING THE MUSLIM WORLD.

WE'RE CHANGING THE HEART THE AND MINDS TO THE DEADLY CRAZIEST PEOPLE IN OUR RELIGION.

IN THE LAST SEVERAL DAYS, YOU KNOW, AFTER THE CONSULATE, YOU KNOW, WAS IGNITED AGAIN, WE BECAME PRETTY MUCH FULL-TIME, YOU KNOW, RESPONDERS TO SOCIAL MEDIA ANTIS-SEMITIC MESSAGING TO RECRUIT MORE LIKE MINDED PEOPLE.

SO WE'RE VERY, VERY SURE.

NO COMMENT WILL BE LEFT UNANSWERED.

SO THIS IS WHAT WE DO AND IT IS WORKING VERY WELL AND WE'LL CONTINUE TO DO IT AND ALONG THE WAY, SO MANY PEOPLE, MUSLIM INCLUDED HAVE JOINED THE COURSE.

THANK YOU.

BEING AMONGST MY FRIENDS AND COLLEAGUES AND FELLOW JOURNEY PEOPLE, IT JUST GIVES ME THE STRENGTH TO BE ABLE TO DO THIS KIND OF WORK.

WE'RE LIVING IN A WORLD OF ALMOST TOXIC POLARIZATION WHERE IT'S NOT JUST AFFECTING THE JEWISH COMMUNITY AND ANTI-SEMITISM OR AAPI COMMUNITY AND ANTI ASIAN WORK OR WHAT IS HAPPENING IN THE BLACK COMMUNITY, WHAT IS HAPPENING IN THE MUSLIM COMMUNITY.

THIS IS A PANDEMIC ACROSS ALL LINES AND ONLY BY GETTING US TOGETHER CAN WE BEGIN TO MEET THIS CHALLENGE.

WE HAVE TO DO THIS TOGETHER.

WE CAN'T SIT IN OUR SILOS SO MY SILO IS THE JCRC, THE JEWISH COMMUNITY RELATIONS COUNSEL IN NEW YORK.

IT'S AN UMBRELLA GROUP OF 60 MAJOR JEWISH ORGANIZATIONS IN NEW YORK.

MY PARTICULAR ROLE THERE IS INCENTIVE FOR COMMUNITY LEADERSHIP.

IT IS THE SHARED SOCIETY DIVISION AND WHAT WE MEAN BY SHARED SOCIETY, WE NEED TO LEARN HOW TO SHARE THE SOCIETY.

WE HAVE TO LEARN HOW TO SHARE POWER.

WE HAVE TO LEARN HOW TO SHARE RESOURCES.

WE HAVE TO LEARN HOW TO SHARE KNOWLEDGE AND WE HAVE TO LEARN HOW TO SHARE CHALLENGES.

IT'S THIS INITIATIVE THAT DOES JUST THAT.

IT BRINGS US TOGETHER.

BRINGS ALL THIS KNOWLEDGE, ALL THIS PROVERB AND PASSION AND ALL THIS TOGETHERNESS TO HELP MAKE SURE THAT WHEN PEOPLE WALK INTO A HOUSE OF WORSHIP, THEY FEEL SAFE BECAUSE IF YOU WALK INTO A HOUSE OF WORSHIP AND YOU DON'T FEEL SAFE, IT'S NOT A HOUSE OF WORSHIP.

IST A HOUSE OF FEAR.

LET ME ASK YOU ABOUT SOMETHING YOU'VE ALL TOUCHED O AND ELABORATE.

WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT TO HAVE VOICES FROM ALL OF THESE FAITHS BEING HEARD TODAY?

I THINK THAT IT'S CRITICAL BECAUSE I THINK A LOT OF TIMES MY CONVERSATIONS WITH FAITH LEADERS IN NEW YORK CERTAIN CONVERSATIONS IN CERTAIN GROUPS A LOT OF TIMES I HEARD CONVERSATIONS WHERE PEOPLE FELT THE JEWISH COMMUNITY WAS KIND OF HOLDING ON TOO TIGHT TO SECURITY CONVERSATIONS WITH ELECTED OFFICIALS AND WITH OTHER LEADERS IN NEW YORK AND HOW OTHER GROUPS WERE NOT BEING BROUGHT IN.

I REMEMBER A SPECIFIC CONVERSATION I HAD WITH PASTOR GILL JUST A FEW YEARS AGO ON THAT WHEN IT WAS TAKING PLACE WITHIN THE CITY AND WHY OTHER GROUPS WERE NOT INCLUDED AND NOW, YOU KNOW, GROWING VOLUNTEER SECURITY FOR JEWISH HOUSES OF WORSHIP ACROSS NEW YORK AND ACROSS THE COUNTRY IT WAS A NATURAL TIME FOR US TO START HAVING THESE CONVERSATIONS TO BRING IN, YOU KNOW, MORE PEOPLE.

SO I THINK A LOT OF TIMES WE'RE IN THE SILOS AND A LOT OF TIMES WE'RE IN OUR BUBBLE.

IT'S GETTING WORSE AND WORSE BUT THIS IS AN OPPORTUNITY WE NEED TO BREAK DOWN THE WALLS AND HAVING THOSE CONVERSATIONS WE DIDN'T HAVE A FEW YEARS AGO.

SO I WANT TO FOLLOW UP -- I'M SORRY, I WANT TO FOLLOW UP ON THAT.

THROUGH THE LENS OF MY COMMUNITY, THE JEWISH COMMUNITY, THROUGH OUR CSI, COMMUNITY SECURITY INITIATIVE AS A JOINT PROJECT BETWEEN THE FEDERATION AND JCRC THAT HELPS TO BOLSTER SECURITY AND SYNAGOGUES AND JEWISH INSTITUTIONS.

I GET WHAT SECURITY MEANS TO THE JEWISH COMMUNITY.

HOWEVER, ONLY BY SITTING BY THE PASTOR OR ANYBODY ELSE ON THE COUNSEL CAN I BEGIN TO UNDERSTAND WHAT SECURITY MEANS TO THEM AND HOW SECURITY NEEDS TO LOOK, HOW IT NEEDS TO OPERATE AND GOING BACK TO THAT WORD AGAIN, HOW DO WE SHARE THE RESOURCES OF SECURITY BECAUSE FRANKLY, WHETHER WE'RE TALKING ABOUT THE NYPD OR INTERNAL SECURITY MEASURES IN OUR OWN SYNAGOGUES OR CHURCHES OR MOSQUES OR TEMPLES, THERE IS A LIMITED AMOUNT OF RESOURCES OUT THERE AND I'M GOING TO HAVE TO LEARN HOW TO MAKE SURE -- WELL, THOSE LIMITED RESOURCES BECOME LESS LIMITED AND WE KNOW HOW TO SHARE THEM IN A WAY THAT WE CAN UTILIZE THEM TO MAKE SURE ALL OF US ARE FEELING SAFE.

YOU USE AN INTERESTING TERM WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT SHARING.

AND WHEN WE THINK OF HOW OUR DIFFERENT RELIGIOUS COMMUNITIES AND I DON'T MEAN THIS IN ANY WAY AS AN INDICTMENT OF THEM BUT WE THINK OF THEM EXISTING ON THEIR OWN, THEY HAVE THEIR OWN PHYSICAL STREUCTURES.

EACH OF THEM HAVE THEIR OWN BELIEVES AND TENANTS.

SO IT'S NOT AS IF IT'S IMPOSSIBLE FOR THEM TO INTERACT.

THAT'S ALWAYS BEEN POSSIBLE.

CERTAINLY BUT YOU HAVE A CERTAIN INDEPENDENCE HERE.

HOW THEN DO YOU ENACT THIS SHARING RABBI BOB THAT YOU MENTIONED?

HOW DOES IT HAPPEN THEN THAT EACH OF THESE INDIVIDUAL RELIGIOUS COMMUNITIES CAN SAY LET WORK OUTSIDE OF OUR LITTERA FIGURATIVE WALL TO DO THAT?

PASTOR GILL, YOU FIRST?

I THINK AT THE END OF THE DAY WE'RE ALL PEOPLE.

AT THE END OF THE DAY WE ALL WANT SAFETY AND SECURITY.

AT THE END OF THE DAY WE'RE ALL FEELING THE SAME THING, THE HURT WHEN SOMEONE VIOLATES OUR SANCTUARY.

AT THE END OF THE DAY, WE ARE PEOPLE.

WE LIVE TOGETHER ON TOP OF ONE ANOTHER.

AT THE END OF THE DAY WE'RE GOODWILL PEOPLE SO THEREFORE TO SHARE THE RESOURCE WITH JUST THE NATURAL PROGRESSION OF PEOPLE OF FAITH SO WHETHER IT'S FROM THE ABRAHAM SIDE OR NOT, THE POINT IS GOODWILL TO PEOPLE MEANS THAT WE WOULD LIKE FOR ALL INDIVIDUALS TO DWELL ON SAFETY AND HAVE THE ABILITY TO PRAY AND TO WORSHIP, YOU KNOW, IN SAFETY AND HAVE AN EASE THAT THEY CAN DO SO.

HOUSES OF WORSHIP OR PLACES OR WORSHIP ARE THE MOST SACRED PLACES AND WE'VE SEEN OVER THE AMERICAN EXPERIENCE THAT SPECIFICALLY AND PRIMARILY FOR BLACK CHURCHES FROM CHARLESTON TO TEXAS YOU'RE SEEING THAT AGAIN, THESE PLACES HAVE BEEN DESECRATED BY HATE AND IT GOES ACROSS THE BOARD.

I CAN GIVE EXAMPLES FROM MUSLIM COMMUNITY TO JEWISH COMMUNITY.

EVERYONE HURT THE SAME WAY.

SHARING RESOURCES IS BECAUSE WE'RE HUMAN BEINGS.

I HOPE THAT WAS NOT SIMPLIFIED BUT THAT'S JUST A FACT.

AND TALK ABOUT SOME OF THE SPECIFIC PROBLEMS AND, YOU KNOW, PASTOR GILL YOU TALKED ABOUT ACTUAL ATTACKS ON PLACES OF WORSHIP.

YOU TALKED EARLY ON ABOUT THE PARTICULAR CHALLENGES FOR THE MUSLIM COMMUNITY.

ELABORATE ON THAT A LITTLE BIT.

YOU KNOW, THE MUSLIM COMMUNITY IS ONE OF THE MOST MISSED UNDERSTOOD COMMUNITY BECAUSE OF THE DESTRUCTIVE ELEMENT AND CAUSED THE MOST DAMAGING WHEREVER THEY ARE.

BECAUSE OF THIS, YOU KNOW, THEY ARE VERY, VERY PRESSED OF MUSLIM AND WHEN YOU GO AROUND NEW YORK CITY ON FRIDAY AND LISTEN TO THE SENTIMENT GIVEN BY THESE RELIGIOUS LEADERS THEY ARE ALMOST IDENTICIAL, THEY TALK ABOUT SERVICES EVERY GROUP NEEDS BUT BECAUSE OF THE DESTRUCTIVE DEVELOPMENT FROM THE MUSLIM COMMUNITY, UNFORTUNATELY, IT TAKES PEOPLE LIKE US WHO WORK HARDER AND TRY OUR BEST SO, YOU KNOW, WE HAVE OUR WORK CUT OUT FOR US AND WE CONTINUE WITH THE COMMUNITIES AROUND US THE JEWISH COMMUNITIES, THE CATHOLIC COMMUNITIES AND CHRISTIAN COMMUNITIES AND EVER OTHER COMMUNITY BECAUSE AT THE END OF THE DAY, WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER AND ONE BIAS PERSON WHETHER IT'S ANTI BLACK, THEY ARE A VIRUS TO EVERYBODY ELSE.

NOW THEY MAY HAVE PRIMARY TARGETS, SECONDARY TARGETS BUT THEY ARE EQUAL PEOPLE AND HAVE ALMOST EVERYBODY, THEY ALSO HAVE THEMSELVES SO IT IS OUR JOB AT MUSLIM LEADERS IN NEW YORK CITY TO MAKE SURE WE CONTINUE TO BE VISIBLE.

WE CONTINUE TO BE ACTIVE AND WE CONTINUE TO PARTICIPATE IN THE APPROPRIATE PROGRAM SO OUR PEOPLE KNOW DEALING WITH THE JUST WISH COMMUNITY, DEALING WITH CHRISTIANS, DEALING WITH PEOPLE WITHOUT STRESS IS NORMAL, IT'S ACCEPTABLE.

EVAN, HOW DOES THE COUNSEL DO THAT?

HOW DOES THE COUNSEL DO WHAT RABBI BOB AND PASTOR GILL TALKED ABOUT?

IT'S ALMOST NOT JUST A LITTER L B -- LITERAL BUT ACTUAL EMBRACING OF THESE OTHER RELIGIOUS BELIEVES AND STRUCTURES.

WHAT CAN THE COUNSEL DO TO HELP THAT HAPPEN?

IT BY CREATING REAL HONEST CONVERSATION.

RABBI BOB AND PASTOR GILL HAVE BEEN ON DIFFERENT COUNSELS THAT HAVE BEEN COUNSELED OR GROUPS I HATE TO SAY IT IS FOR SHOW.

THIS IS NOT THAT GROUP.

THIS IS A DOING GROUP AND AFTER THE FIRST MEETING WE HAD BREAKOUT SESSIONS LED BY RABBI BOB AND PASTOR GILL WHERE PEOPLE ARE TALKING ABOUT, LEADERS ARE TALKING ABOUT THE ISSUES THEY HAVE WITHIN THEIR COMMUNITY.

WHAT IS SO AMAZING IS THE SIMILARITIES THE GROUPS ARE COME FACING.

IF WE LOOK, ACT AND PRAY DIFFERENTLY, BEING ABLE TO BRING IN THE RIGHT SPEAKERS, BRING IN THE RIGHT RESOURCES AND DO IT ON A CONSISTENT BASIS SO IT NOT JUST MEETING ONCE FOR SHOW AND THEN IT'S OVER AND PUT IT ON YOUR C.V.

THIS IS SOMETHING WE REALLY WANT TO HAVE IMPACTED IN THESE COMMUNITIES AND YOU HAVE A VOICE, A COLLECTIVE VOICE AND WE CAN BRING THOSE RESOURCES TO THE TABLE ON A REGULAR BASIS TO HELP PROVIDE THE NEEDED INFORMATION FOR THEM.

ARE YOU ALL FINDING THAT THERE IS A WILLINGNESS ON THE PART OF YOUR COMMUNITY, A RECOGNITION THAT YES, WE NEED TO HAVE SOMETHING SUCH AS THE ENTER FAITH SECURITY COUNSEL TO DEAL WITH EACH OF YOUR OWN INDIVIDUAL PROBLEMS WHICH ARE NOT INSIGNIFICANT IN YOUR RELIGIOUS COMMUNITIES BUT TO SAY IN ADDITION TO THAT, LET'S REACH OUT AND SEE WHAT WE CAN DO TO OTHERS.

ARE YOU FINDING IT THERE IN TERMS OF THE PEOPLE YOU DEAL WITH RABBI BOB?

NOBODY IS STANDING UP FOR ME.

NOBODY IS COMING FORWARD.

WE'RE FINDING THE EXACT OPPOSITE.

WHEN WE STARTED TO PUT THIS TOGETHER, NOT ONLY WAS THERE A WILLINGNESS, IT WAS SORT OF AN AVALANCHE OF I WANT TO BE PART OF THIS BECAUSE WHEN YOU OFFER THE OPPORTUNITY, A TRUE AND HONEST OPPORTUNITY FOR PEOPLE TO GET-TOGETHERS AND LISTEN TO EACH OTHER, HEAR EACH OTHER AND ACT WITH EACH OTHER, THERE IS A LOT OF GOOD FOLKS THAT WANT TO DO IT BECAUSE FRANKLY, WE'RE NOT WALKING INTO OTHER PEOPLE'S SILOS.

WE'RE NOT GOING INTO OTHER PEOPLE'S HOUSES OR WORSHIP.

I GET TO DO THAT ON A PREREGULAR BASIS.

I'M BLESSED BY THAT.

MOST PEOPLE AREN'T.

WE'RE LIVING IN OUR OWN BUBBLES.

OUR OWN POLITICAL BUBBLES AND MUCH MORE SO THAN EVER BEFORE.

SO WHAT WE'RE FINDING IS FOLKS ARE REALLY WILLING TO DO THIS AND HOWEVER, AS EVAN SAID BEFORE, WE WANT TO MAKE SURE WE'RE WALKING AWAY WITH SOMETHING CONCRETE.

WE WANT TO WALK AWAY WITH SOMETHING WE CAN REALLY HANG OUR HAT ON AND SAY THAT WAS A TIME WELL SPENT AND IT BENEFITTING MY COMMUNITY.

THAT'S WHY WE'RE DEDICATED TO MAKING SURE THIS IS REAL AND YOU CAN ONLY FEEL THAT REALNESS FROM THE FOLKS ON THE GREEN AND IF YOU HAD ALL THE FOLKS WHO ARE PART OF THE COMMUNITY, YOU FEEL THAT REALNESS SO MUCH MORE SO.

SO YES, PEOPLE ARE STEPPING UP AND STEPPING FORWARD NOT SKEPTICALLY.

PASTOR GILL, ARE YOU FINDING THE SAME THING?

YEAH, AT THE END OF THE DAY EVERYONE WANTS SECURITY.

AS LEADERS WE SET THE TREND FOR PEOPLE AND REGARDS OF SILOS, YOU CAN, I MEAN, IF YOU JUST IN BROOKLYN ALONE OF COURSE WITH CHURCHES BUT HAS A BIG JEWISH COMMUNITY, HAVE A BIG MUSLIM COMMUNITY AND I THINK WE REALIZE THAT WE'RE HERE TO STAY AND NO ONE IS LEAVING SO FOR US, YOU KNOW, PEOPLE WANT TO JOIN TOGETHER IN TERMS OF WORKING TOGETHER COLLABORATIVELY.

ONE OF THE THINGS THIS IS WORKING AND WE ARE GOING TO WORK ON IS THAT WE HAVE PROVEN THAT WE CAN SURVIVE WITHOUT EACH OTHER.

WHAT WE HAVE NOT PROVEN IS IF WE CAN BUILD TOGETHER AND I THINK THIS IS ONE OF THE FIRST STEPS OF BUILDING TOGETHER.

IS -- THAT'S AN INTERESTING OBSERVATION.

AND I WONDER HOW AND EVAN, I'LL ASK YOU THIS QUESTION.

I WONDER HOW SUCCESSFUL THE COUNSEL CAN BE BECAUSE AS PASTOR GILL SAID, THE HISTORY OF RELIGIOUS COMMUNITIES HAVE BEEN BECAUSE EACH OF THEM IN SOME POINT IN TIME IN THEIR HISTORY HAS BEEN UNDER SIEGE.

SOMETIMES LITERALLY SO THAT THEY HAD TO PROVE THEY CAN EXIST INDEP INDEPENDENTLY.

SO WHAT ABOUT THAT NOTION, EVAN?

IS THAT SO TO WHAT THE HISTORIES HAVE BEEN TO SAY LET'S FIGURE OUT A WAY TO STAND AND EXIST TOGETHER?

I DON'T THINK WE CAN AFFORD NOT TO.

WE ARE IN A MOMENT IN TIME THAT WE MUST START SAYING IT TOGETHER AND WORKING TOGETHER AND WHAT MAKES IT POSSIBLE IS THE GROUP, WE ALL HAVE PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS.

I DID MY FIRST RAMADAN AT A MOSQUE.

I'VE KNOWN RABBI BOB FOR YEARS.

WE'VE TRAVELED TOGETHER.

THE PEOPLE THAT ARE ON THIS COUNSEL WERE ACTUALLY FRIENDS BEFORE THIS COUNSEL WAS FOUNDED AND I THINK IT ALLOWED FOR THIS TO HAPPEN AND HAVING ESPECIALLY RABBI BOB AND PASTOR GILL HELP WITH THE RECRUITMENT, WE'RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER AND WE'RE NOT COMING AT THIS STARTING WITH FROM SCRATCH.

WE'VE ALL DONE WORK TOGETHER AT SOME LEVEL WITHIN THE CIVIL RIGHTS COMMUNITY, RELIGIOUS FAITH BASED COMMUNITY.

THAT'S A HUGE BENEFIT TO THIS GROUP THAT'S GOING TO ALLOW FOR THIS TO MATURE INTO SOMETHING MAYBE WE HAVE NOT SEEN BEFORE AS PEOPLE OPERATE IN SILOS WE CAN OPERATE AS ONE UNIT.

THAT FIRST MEETING WE HAD WAS HON FESTALLY ONE OF THE BEST INNER FACE GROUP MEETINGS I EVERED HAD.

RABBI BOB AND PASTOR GILL WERE TESTED AT THAT REALLY THE CONVERSATIONS ARE SO HONEST AND PEOPLE BECAUSE THEY KNEW EACH OTHER WERE SO WILLING TO BE OPEN AND TRUTHFUL IN THOSE CONVERSATIONS BECAUSE IT WAS A SAFE SPACE THAT IT WAS EXTRAORDINARY.

HOW DO QUESTION GET THE COMMUNITY?

RABBI BOB, GO AHEAD.

SEE, I JUST WANT TO BUILD ON WHAT EVAN SAID.

WE'VE SPENT DECADES BUILDING THESE RELATIONSHIPS.

NOT JUST A COUPLE WEEKS.

WE DIDN'T JUST LIKE STEP INTO IT WHEN THERE IS A PROBLEM.

WE SPENT DECADES.

I'VE KNOWN PASTOR GILL SINCE, WELL, SINCE HE WAS JUST FIRST PASTOR GILL AND THE SHAPE IS BEING INCREDIBLY MODEST.

WHAT YOU DON'T KNOW IS FOR ALMOST A DECADE HE HAD A SYNAGOGUE IN HIS MOSQUE IN THE BRONX.

HE PUTS HIS MONEY WHERE HIS MOUTH IS AND EVAN STEPPED OFF THE CIVIL RIGHTS IN UNBELIEVABLE WAYS AND SOMETIMES AT THE EXPENSE OF HIS OWN COMMUNITY.

SO, YOU KNOW, THE REALITY IS WE HAVE -- DURING THE GOOD TIMES AND TOUGH TIMES, WE HAVE SPENT TIME GETTING TO KNOW EACH OTHER, GETTING TO UNDERSTAND EACH OTHER, GETTING TO LISTEN TO ONE ANOTHER.

THAT'S A RARITY NOWADAYS AND GETTING TO TRUST ONE ANOTHER.

SO WHEN WE SEE A CHALLENGE IN FRONT OF US LIKE THE SECURITY ISSUE, OF COURSE WE'LL COME TO THE TABLE.

OF COURSE WE'LL BE THERE BECAUSE THESE ARE NOT ONLY PEOPLE THAT WE WANT TO WORK WITH, THESE ARE PEOPLE WE ENJOY WORKING WITH AND DOESN'T MEAN WE ALL AGREE ON EVERYTHING BY THE WAY.

IT DOESN'T MEAN THAT WE HAVE THE SAME VIEW ABOUT WHAT IS HAPPENING IN THE MIDDLE EAST OR WHAT IS HAPPENING IN BROOKLYN.

IT JUST MEANS THAT WE'VE AGREED THAT GETTING TOGETHER, WORKING TOGETHER AND CREATING A SHARED CIVIC SOCIETY WHERE WE CAN TRUST ONE ANOTHER IS THE RADICALLY MOST IMPORTANT THING TO DO RIGHT NOW.

WHEN YOU LOOK.

I GOT TWO AND A HALF, THREE MINUTES HERE.

LET ME ASK YOU THE QUESTION.

THAT IS WE NEED TO DEVELOP TRUST.

WE NEED TO LISTEN.

WE NEED TO RECOGNIZE THAT JUST BECAUSE SOMEBODY DOESN'T LOOK LIKE ME THAT DOESN'T MAKE THEM AN OTHER WHERE WE CAN'T APPRECIATE THEM AND LITERALLY AND FIGURATIVELY EMBRACE THEM, EVER EVAN, HOW DO WE AS THE MES MESSENGER, HOW DO WE GET THE MESSAGE OUT TO ALL OF OUR RELIGIOUS COMMUNITIES AND NON-RELIGIOUS COMMUNITIES ABOUT THE NEED FOR DOING ALL OF THIS FOR TRUSTING AND FOR LISTENING?

HOW DO WE MAKE THAT HAPPEN?

I THINK IT HAS TO BE AT THE MICRO LEVEL.

WE HAVE TREMENDOUS RELATIONSHIPS AT THE MACRO LEVEL THAT'S HAPPY AND PAROL LT OF THIS GROUP IS BRINGING IT DOWN TO THE MICRO LEVEL BRINGING IT TO THE SMALL CHURCHES AND SYNAGOGUE AND GETTING TO THE CONGREGATION AND PULL PET AND GETTING PEOPLE TALKING ABOUT THIS AND IT'S GOING TO BE AT THAT LEVEL FOR NOW.

ONCE I ESTABLISH AND GET REALLY ROLLING, I THINK IT WILL BE ABOUT THE EXPECTATION OF THE MEMBER OF THIS GROUP TO REALLY ENSURE THE COMMUNITIES BECAUSE THAT'S HOW IT CAN CHANGE THE HEART AND MIND OF AN AVERAGE INDIVIDUAL.

IT SHOWS THIS WORK CAN BE IMPACTFUL AND MEANINGFUL.

I'LL MAKE THIS THE LAST QUESTION AND NOW INDEED WE HAVE 45 SECONDS SO QUICK LAST QUESTION.

EVAN, IF I SAY I JUST SAW THIS PROGRAM ON 'METRO FOCUS' WHERE YOU WERE ALL INVOLVED AND I WANT TO KNOW WHAT I CAN DO TO HELP, WHAT IS THE ANSWER?

REACH OUT TO ANY ONE OF US.

WE HAVE CONTACTED ENOUGH WITH DIFFERENT GROUPS IN THESE COMMUNITIES THAT WILL ALLOW FOR YOU TO VOLUNTEER HIGH LEVELS AND THE RABBI HAVE A MEETING OPPORTUNITY, SHAPE THAT AND VOLUNTEER WITH PASTOR GILL.

THE OPPORTUNITIES TO GET ENGAGED.

EVERY ON THIS GROUP HAS OPPORTUNITIES AND WANTS PEOPLE TO BE ENGAGED FROM DIFFERENT COMMUNITIES, AS WELL.

WELL, I THINK WATCHING AND LISTENING TO ALL OF YOU CERTAINLY GIVES US HOPE.

IT GIVES US HOPE IF I CAN BORROW FROM RABBI BOB TO UNDERSTAND TO LISTEN AND FOR TRUSTING.

SO THANK YOU TO ALL OF YOU FOR THE WORK YOU'RE DOING AND SPENDING TIME WITH US HERE AND OUR HOPE IS WE CAN CHAT WITH YOU AGAIN DOWN THE ROAD AND SEE SORT OF PROGRESS WE'RE MAKING.

SO TO ALL OF YOU, THANK YOU SO MUCH.

ALL OF YOU STAY WELL.

'METRO FOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY SYLVIA PROGRAMMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT ANTI-SEMITISM, THE PETER G.

PETERSON AND BERNARD AND DENISE SCHWARTZ, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKE ZUCKERBERG.

JUDY AND JOSH WESTIN AND DR.

ROBERT C AND TINA FOUNDATION.

PATTY KENNER.

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, The Peter G. Peterson and Joan Ganz Cooney Fund, Bernard and Denise Schwartz, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, The Ambrose Monell Foundation, Janet Prindle Seidler, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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