BROOKLYN, N.Y (Oct. 25)
In wake of the unprecedented terrorist attack by 50 Puerto Rican youths on a Brooklyn synagogue during concluding Yom Kippur services, residents in the Boro Park area in which the attack was launched have expressed their fears that a second and more serious confrontation may take place. Members of the attacked synagogue, Khal Adath Sochochow, and other persons residing in this neighborhood, told a JTA reporter that in the days following the incident, they have been accosted by Puerto Rican youths who taunt them with insults and pledge “blood and revenge.” The arrest of two Puerto Ricans allegedly involved in the assault has infuriated the youths and a threat was reported to have been made upon the life of an Orthodox woman who identified one of the assailants arrested. The unnatural quiet which has settled over this neighborhood particularly alarms the residents who fear that “something bad is brewing.” A 24 hour police patrol which was stationed near the synagogue immediately following the attack was removed this weekend and some persons voiced their wish for the Jewish Defense League to continue its patrol of the neighborhood which was initiated the day following the incident.
In reaction to the synagogue attack, more than 500 persons gathered in Boro Park on the night of Shmini Atzereth last Wednesday to hear Rabbi Meir Kahane, National Chairman of the Jewish Defense League, speak about what he termed increasing anti-Semitism and terrorism occurring in Jewish neighborhoods during recent weeks. The crowd assembled at Congregation Ohel Avrohom, located in Boro Park, in response to placards posted in the area which read: “While Jewish People in This Neighborhood Were Being Terrorized – What Did You Do? We Were There Come Hear the Facts!” Rabbi Kahane spoke at length about the synagogue attack and other problems confronting Jewish neighborhoods to a solely Orthodox crowd which filled the synagogue and overflowed into the street. Many persons in the audience were members of the ultra-Orthodox synagogue which had been attacked. One of the leading members of the synagogue, who asked not to be identified, told a JTA reporter that although she had at first believed that the JDL’s patrol was “unnecessary and unwanted,” she had changed her mind and was new grateful for its help. Others stated that they had become members of the JDL following the attack.