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Hanukkah Celebration Stabbing in Monsey, New York (2019)
Hanukkah Celebration Stabbing in Monsey, New York (2019)
April 28, 2019
Monsey, New York
United States
Total victims:
Photographer: Allyse Pulliam/AP

Hanukkah Celebration Stabbing in Monsey, New York (2019)

1 Jew was killed in an antisemitic attack in Monsey, US on 12/28/2019

The stabbing during a Hanukkah celebration in Monsey, leaving one dead and four injured, was a stark act of antisemitic violence.

The stabbing attack during a Hanukkah celebration in Monsey, New York, on December 28, 2019, stands out as a particularly heinous act of violence, highlighting the persistent threat of antisemitism in modern society. This attack not only shattered the peace of a religious celebration but also underscored the vulnerability of minority communities and the devastating impact of hate-fueled violence.


Monsey, a town in Rockland County, is known for its large Orthodox Jewish community. The area has been a hub for Jewish life and culture, making it a significant location for Jewish religious events. Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, is a joyous time in the Jewish calendar, celebrated with lighting candles, prayers, and gatherings. The attack on this celebration was a direct affront to these traditions and the community's sense of safety.

Details of the Attack:

The incident occurred at the home of Rabbi Chaim Rottenberg, located next to his synagogue, where dozens had gathered to light the menorah and celebrate Hanukkah. In a sudden and unprovoked assault, a man armed with a machete burst into the rabbi's home and began attacking the attendees. The assailant, later identified as Grafton Thomas, inflicted severe injuries on five people before he was chased away by the crowd. He fled the scene but was later apprehended by law enforcement.

The attack was not only a traumatic experience for the victims and those present but also sent shockwaves through the Jewish community across the United States. The incident was quickly labeled as an act of domestic terrorism, and it raised serious concerns about the rise of antisemitic sentiments and violence in the country.

Victims of the Attack:

The victims of this horrifying attack were members of the local Jewish community, gathered to celebrate their faith and tradition. Among them was Josef Neumann, a 72-year-old man who suffered critical injuries. Neumann sustained a severe head injury and was left in a coma following the attack. Tragically, he succumbed to his injuries three months later, bringing the horror of the event into even sharper focus. The other victims, whose names were not widely publicized out of respect for their privacy and safety, suffered various degrees of physical injuries. They also faced long-term psychological trauma, a common aftermath for survivors of such violent attacks.

In the wake of the attack, there was an outpouring of support for the victims and the Jewish community in Monsey and beyond. Vigils and solidarity gatherings were organized, and leaders across the political spectrum condemned the violence. The incident highlighted the need for increased security measures in places of worship and called for greater awareness and action against the tide of antisemitism.

This event remains a stark reminder of the dangers of unchecked hate and bigotry, and it underscores the importance of standing together against such acts of violence. The victims, with their individual stories and the collective trauma they endured, remind us of the urgent need to foster a society where tolerance and respect for all faiths and communities are paramount.

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