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Jdo Begins’armed Patrols’ in Long Island to Protect Jewish Property

May 10, 1985
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The Jewish Defense Organization announced today that it has begun “armed patrols” in several communities in Nassau and Suffolk counties in response to a recent series of attacks on synagogues and other Jewish-owned properties.

But Nassau County police officials told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that they had no know ledge of the patrols, and a rabbi of a synagogue that was damaged last week in a deliberately set fire said his synagogue had not sought out the aid of the JDO.

“Our leadership is not asking for help,” Rabbi David Artz of the South Baldwin Jewish Center said in a telephone interview. “We have been taking care of our own affairs for the past thirty years and we will continue taking care of our own affairs. If we need some outside help we’ll get it.”

The JDO patrols followed last weekend’s arson attack on the South Baldwin synagogue where prayer books and prayer shawls were among the items damaged. Also discovered last weekend were slogans such as “Jews Die,” “Jews for Sale,” and “We kill Jews,” scrawled along with swastikas on the stairwell walls and ceilings of an apartment building in Great Neck, where the residents are mainly Orthodox Jews.

Mordechai Levy, the 23-year-old president of the JDO, which claims a national membership of 1,500, would not disclose the precise locations of the patrols, citing security reasons, But he indicated that one community where patrols are underway is Baldwin, on the south shore of Long Island.

Levy told the JTA that some35 persons are currently involved in the patrols and that many of the participants are not JDO members, but members of the South Baldwin Jewish Center. He would not disclose what “arms” the patrols carried, except to assert that they were “legal but deadly weapons.”

“The patrols are simply to defend the Jewish community,” Levy said. He confirmed that he had not received formal approval for the patrols from the leadership of the Baldwin Jewish community, and said that he had attended the emergency meeting held Monday, called in response to the arson attack last weekend.

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