MONSEY, NY (CBS46) Metro Atlanta Jewish leaders are speaking out after the stabbing attacks during a Hanakkah celebration in New York.

Grafton Thomas, 37, the man accused of stabbing five people during the celebration Saturday night inside a Rabbi's New York home, faces five counts of attempted murder as well as burglary.

50 to 60 people were inside the rabbi's home during the attack.

Sunday morning, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo called the attack an act of domestic terrorism.

Hanakkah celebration in metro Atlanta

“We have to change the laws to call this what it is. This is terrorism. it is domestic terrorism. These are people who intend to create mass harm, mass violence, generate fear based on race, color, creed. That is the definition of terrorism,” Cuomo said.

This attack, along with others nationwide against members of the Jewish community have people concerned.

“This is after a rash of anti-Semitic attacks that have been taking places over almost every day of Hanukkah,” said Rabbi Adam Starr, of Congregation Ohr HaTorah.

So, tonight, for the last night of Hanukkah, Jews around the world are gathering in solidarity in lighting the Menorah to show they are not afraid.

Members of the Jewish community and beyond gathered at the Toco Hills Shopping Center to send the message they will not allow anti-Semitism to defeat them as they proudly and publicly express their Judaism.

“This is not going to be tolerated, and this is not the way America was created,” said Barry Zisholtz, who attended the Menorah lighting.

Aside from the lighting of the candles, there was singing, dancing, and praying…

“This is America, people should have a right to practice their religion any way they want, in peace, and without the fear of being injured,” Zisholtz added.

Members of the Jewish community gathered in Toco Hills to light the Menorah for the last night of Hanukkah.

“Instead of seeing the attack as a way of crawling back, we use it as an opportunity to come out stronger, to show our pride in our Judaism, and light the Menorah in public, with the entire community, telling the world that light always dispels darkness, and good always overpowers evil,” said Rabbi Yale New, with Chabad of Toco Hills.

The anti-Semitic attack in Monsey, New York, left five people injured, and traumatized the Jewish community.

“To think that some crazy person could come into someone’s home and try to slaughter them just because they’re Jewish is really an abomination to the society we live in and something we need to pay attention to,” said Dov Wilker, the Regional Director with the American Jewish Committee.

But despite that, the Jewish community is choosing to stand together against hate.

“And after thousands of years, we’re still here with our candles burning bright,” added Rabbi Starr, “We will not allow the anti-Semites to silence us.”

“If we hide our Judaism, then the bad people win,” Zisholtz said, “These incidents make me more determined to be able to express it any way I can.”


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