NEW YORK (Mar. 5)
Police are investigating the vandalization of a Yemenite synagogue in the Borough Park section of Brooklyn yesterday. Intruders broke into Congregation Ohel-Shalom-and caused damage estimated at $1500. Herbert Matmon. vice-president of the congregation, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that the vandals destroyed prayer shawls but left the Torah scrolls unharmed. They stole an Israeli flag, but not an American flag, and plastered the synagogue walls with anti-Israel stickers in Hebrew and English bearing the initials AFL. Matmon said he had no idea what the initials stand for.
Police said the vandals entered the synagogue through a basement window, damaged the pulpit, the menorah and picture frames, slashed prayer shawls on a rack and slashed the carpet. According to Matmon, the congregation, headed by Rabbi Saadia Kovashi, has been in existence since 1916. It numbers 45 families, Yemenites who immigrated to the U.S. from Israel, and uses the Yemenite liturgy in its services, Matmon said it is the largest Yemenite congregation in Brooklyn.