'I know my community is resilient': Jewish leaders in Chicago area condemn New York stabbing attack at Hanukkah celebration

Jewish leaders in the Chicago area are condemning a stabbing attack that occurred at a rabbi's house outside New York City on Saturday night.

Five people were stabbed during a Hanukkah celebration in Monsey, New York. The victims were gathering for the seventh night of the eight-day holiday when a man broke in with a machete.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo called it an act of domestic terrorism.

Police said the suspect, 38-year-old Grafton Thomas, then drove off, but officers later took him into custody in New York City.

Thomas pleaded not guilty to five counts of attempted murder on Sunday.

RELATED: 5 stabbed at Hanukkah celebration in rabbi's New York home; suspect arraigned

It's the 13th anti-Semitic incident in New York this month.

The Jewish community in Skokie held a vigil Sunday night for all of the victims.

"The moment comes during the holiday of Hanukkah when we are celebrating religious freedom at the hands of the Greek army that was persecuting us. And it's terrible that 2,000 years later, we still have to fight against anti-Semitism, against evil that plagues us in this society," said Rabbi Josh Weinberg.

But the attacks aren't dimming the light of the Jewish community.

For the third year, a celebration at New City in Lincoln Park was held on the final night of Hanukkah.

"Tonight, I feel a certain level of comfort because I know we are resilient. I know my community is resilient," said Rabbi Mendy Benhiyoun.

The FBI is working to obtain a warrant to access the suspect's online accounts and devices to see what he was reading and writing.

Law enforcement officials said they have not found a link to other recent attacks.
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