NEW YORK (Jul. 27)
The American Jewish Congress today released figures its Metropolitan Council obtained from the New York City Police Department that show 633 incidents of burglary. 50 of arson and 356 of criminal mischief (vandalism) against religious institutions in the city in 1969. The figures include attacks on synagogues and churches, yeshivoth, parochial schools and other religiously-affiliated centers. But while there were more than three times as many burglaries of churches as of synagogues, the Congress reported, there were nearly twice as many acts of vandalism against synagogues as against churches, which are far more numerous in the city.
The AJ Congress reported that the Police Department stepped up its protection of such institutions early last year and assured the Jewish leaders that practices instituted then were still being followed. The AJ Congress called the attention of synagogue and Jewish center leaders to a new state law that will go into effect September 20 and may provide relief to religious institutions from acts of adolescent vandalism. It authorizes the Family Court to order–as a condition of probation–up to $500 in restitution in cases of malicious acts by 10-15-year olds. Moreover, it provides that a parent or guardian is liable up to that amount for “willful, malicious or unlawful damage” caused by a child 10 to 17 not properly supervised.