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Jewish holidays in NY marred by anti-Semitic attacks

Vandals smashed the windows of a Brooklyn synagogue during Rosh Hashanah prayers this week and police said that a Jewish woman reported being harassed in a separate incident during the holiday as well.

Two females were apparently caught on video throwing milk crates at the Rivnitz synagogue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn on Monday afternoon, the first full day of the two-day holiday. Police were searching for two females who were seen in the video, according to WPIX-TV.

“This is a shocking act of hate,” Mayor Bill de Blasio wrote on Twitter. “We WILL find the perpetrators and hold them responsible.”

The Anti-Defamation League was “deeply disturbed” by the incident.

“At a time when the Brooklyn Jewish community is already on edge in the wake of a series of anti-Semitic incidents, it is extremely upsetting to see this congregation targeted during what is otherwise supposed to be a joyous celebration of the Jewish New Year,” —Evan Bernstein, regional director, ADL, New York-New Jersey

Anti-Semitic acts are increasing in the US at an alarming rate.

“Anti-Semitic attacks worldwide rose 13 percent in 2018 from the previous year, with the highest number of incidents reported in major Western democracies including the United States, France, Britain and Germany.”—Reuters

A recent report out of Tel Aviv university said:

“Anti-Semitism is no longer an issue confined to the activity of the far left, far right and radical Islamists triangle – it has mainstreamed and became an integral part of life.” 

Meanwhile, the 22-year-old woman who reported being harassed said a teenager pulled her wig off on Sunday night just as the holiday was beginning. Orthodox Jewish women wear wigs or other head covering as part of their religious observance.

A female teenager “pulled her scarf and wig from her head,” a New York Police detective, Annette Shelton, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency in an email.

A spate of attacks against Orthodox Jewish men have taken place in Brooklyn in recent months. New York Police’s Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating the incidents.

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