In NYC, Orthodox man assaulted and synagogue robbed


NEW YORK (JTA) — New York City police are investigating two recent crimes affecting individual Jews or Jewish institutions.

On Oct. 16, an Orthodox man in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn was assaulted in front of a Jewish school in an incident being investigated as a possible bias attack.

Moshe Yehuda Feldman, 35, was hit in the back of the head in the late morning and was treated for head injuries, JP Updates reported. Police said the assailant was a Hispanic man and he fled the scene, according to the JP Updates.

Two days earlier, a synagogue on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, the Stanton Street Shul, was found to be broken into and vandalized, The Jewish Press reported, citing an email from the historic Orthodox congregation’s president.

In the email to congregants, Rebecca Honig-Friedman said that “no one was hurt and the damage could have been much worse.”

Two of the lamps on the synagogue bimah were pulled off and broken, but nothing was stolen and the Torah scrolls were untouched, the email said. Papers and prayer shawls were strewn on the floor.

Police suspect the break-in was an attempted burglary rather than a hate crime.

The Stanton Street Shul is one of the last remaining tenement-style synagogues in the historically Jewish neighborhood.

“Although these two incidents have no apparent connection, nor are we aware of a new trend of singling out Jews for violence across New York City, the possibility that Jewish individuals and institutions were singled out is troubling and unfortunately not a new phenomenon,” Evan Bernstein, the New York regional director of the Anti-Defamation League, said in a news release issued by his organization. “Last year, Brooklyn and Manhattan were certainly not immune to anti-Semitic acts, as we saw more than 140 incidents of assault, harassment and vandalism take place across the five boroughs, and a similar number the year before.

“The vast majority of Jewish New Yorkers feel comfortable and safe in their respective communities, however it is nevertheless disconcerting when such alarming events take place on our streets.”

Recommended from JTA