Swastikas In Midwood; City Island Shul Burglarized


Vandals painted swastikas on the garage of a Jewish-owned house on East 5th Street in Midwood last weekend as well as on an apartment building across the street. The words "Die Jews" were also painted on the garage. A building of the Yeshiva of Brooklyn was also vandalized.

The vandalism, discovered Sunday morning, follows an incident in November in a nearby area of Midwood, when swastikas were painted on the ground on Ocean Parkway and several cars were torched, but police are now reportedly considering that that incident may have been an insurance scam disguised as a bias crime. Around the same time swastikas were painted at Queens libraries, a church and Congregation Tifereth Israel in Jackson Heights.

Last week, several storefronts on 6th Avenue near Bryant Park in Midtwon were targeted with swastikas, including a book store and clothing shop.

"We will not accept these open displays of hatred, and those responsible must be brought to justice," said Councilman David Greenfield in a statement after visiting the crime scene on Sunday. "I thank the NYPD's 66th Precinct, Hate Crimes Unit, and Crime Scene Unit for their swift response to today's incident, which is clearly aimed at terrorizing not only America's largest Jewish community but also the nation's largest community of Holocaust survivors."

Also last weekend, in the small Bronx community of City Island, vandals broke into Temple Beth-El and stole ritual items, including silver crowns from Holocaust-era Torah scrolls and kiddush cups shortly before Shabbat.

"Instead of preparing to welcome Shabbat with joyful song and dance, community members and clergy arrived to a mess in the sanctuary and police investigators saying, "Don't touch anything," said the congregation's rabbi, Shohama Weiner, and a shul member, David Evan Markus, in an email message to The Jewish Week.

"We’re lucky: we weren't firebombed like the Temple Beth-El of Rutherford,New Jersey; nobody was hurt and our Torahs were unharmed," they wrote. "But the recentspate of violence against area synagogues is a sobering reminder of our world's brokenness — and hopefully, too, a chance to lift those shards of brokenness into the light."