Two brothers wearing prayer shawls attacked on Yom Kippur in Brooklyn
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Two brothers wearing prayer shawls attacked on Yom Kippur in Brooklyn

(JTA) — Two brothers, ages 19 and 23, were attacked on their way home from Yom Kippur day services in Brooklyn, New York.

Police are investigating the attack as a possible hate crime, the New York Daily News reported. The department’s Hate Crime Task Force is leading the investigation.

The brothers, identified as Dani and Eli Zainback, were wearing their prayer shawls and kippot when they left the Flatbush Park Jewish Center on Wednesday afternoon.

Three men walking in the opposite direction called the brothers “f**king Jews.” The older brother responded by telling the men it was their holiday, and touching one of the men.

The attackers, said to be in their 20s, set on the brothers, leaving the older with bruised ribs and a cut in his mouth, and the younger with bruises on his eye and a cut lip, according to the newspaper. The attackers fled the scene. The older brother was taken to a local hospital for treatment and the younger was treated near the synagogue by paramedics.

The Anti-Defamation League condemned the assault. “This appalling act of apparently hate-inspired violence is a sad reminder that despite the unprecedented freedom of religious practice that Jews enjoy today in America, there remains much work to be done to combat the evils of anti-Semitism and bigotry, including right here at home in New York City,” said Evan R. Bernstein, ADL New York Regional Director.” The fact that this assault occurred at the most solemn time of the year for Jews makes the incident even more disturbing.”