Detectives Probing Vandalism of Crown Heights Yeshiva, No Arrests Made Yet

Brooklyn police said today that detectives are investigating an incident of vandalism at the Crown Heights Yeshiva in Brooklyn over the weekend but so far no arrests have been made. Vandals broke into the four-story building while it was closed for the Sukkot holiday and left a trail of destruction in 25 of its 27 rooms.

Mrs. Naomi Benezra, director of the school, called the vandalism “malicious mischief.” She said there appeared to be no indication of anti-Semitic intent, although a sacramental cover was splotched with black ink. The vandals broke about 130 windowpanes and glass door panels, ripped out desk drawers, forced open steel cabinets and a candy vending machine, tore a clock from the wall and sprayed fire extinguisher fluid on the walls. Pupils’ notes and textbooks and other papers were strewn on the floors. The vandals did not enter a 850-seat synagogue which occupies part of the building.

The damage was discovered when the school reopened Monday. Police have been watching the premises as well as a public school next door since Mayor John V. Lindsay ordered stricter surveillance of religious buildings nearly a year ago. Mayor Lindsay issued his order after a wave of vandalism hit Hebrew schools in Brooklyn and other boroughs. The neighborhood, once predominantly Jewish, is now mixed between Jews, Negros, Puerto Ricans and other ethnic groups. According to Mrs. Benezra, neighborhood relations have been good.

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