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N.Y. synagogue gets bomb threat; hate crimes against Jews rise

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(JTA) — A letter threatening to blow up a New York City synagogue was discovered the same day as the release of a state report showing that hate crimes against Jews had risen significantly.

A letter discovered on the evening of Dec. 30 at the Congregation Ohab Zedek on the upper West Side of Manhattan threatened to blow up the synagogue on New Year’s Eve, the New York Post reported. The newspaper quoted synagogue rabbi Allen Schwartz as saying that up to a dozen other synagogues received similar letters.

The report on hate crimes in New York State for 2009 was also released late last week by the state Division of Criminal Justice Services. According to the report, 37 percent of hate crimes for 2009 were against Jews and Jewish institutions, a 15 percent rise over the previous year, according to reports. There were 251 hate crimes against Jews and Jewish property in 2009, up from 219 the previous year.  

The total number of hate crimes in New York State rose by 14 percent, from 599 to 683.

Anti-black hate crimes accounted for 21 percent of the total, anti-male homosexual hate crimes for 12 percent, and anti-Hispanic hate crimes for 6 percent.
 

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