BUSHWICK — A Bushwick storefront synagogue was vandalized Saturday amid a rise in hate crimes throughout New York City.
Two vandals shattered the front window of the Chabad of Bushwick synagogue Saturday morning at 2:00 am, according to police.
Rabbi Menachem Heller told several news outlets he and about a dozen others—including children—were inside after celebrating Shabbat (religious observance) when they heard a loud crash. No one was hurt inside the Bushwick synagogue at 1087 Flushing Avenue.
The incident comes as the number of reported hate crimes jumped to 55 this year as of Feb. 17., an increase of 72 percent during the same time last year, according to police.
City Councilman Antonio Reynoso, whose district includes Bushwick, sat down with Heller the day after the incident.
“The brick brought us together and we are now that much stronger for it,” wrote Reynoso who was joined by Councilman Yeger of Borough Park, another largely Jewish community.
“Hate will not be tolerated,” he added.
Visited the Bushwick Chabad today. Unfortunate circumstance in which to meet Rabbi Menachem after a brick was thrown through their window. The brick brought us together & we are now that much stronger for it. Hate will not be tolerated. TY to @JennieBergerNYC & @KalmanYeger pic.twitter.com/FuRERRKgEI
— Antonio Reynoso (@ReynosoBrooklyn) February 17, 2019
The same day Gov. Cuomo directed the State Police Hate Crimes Unit to help the NYPD in their investigation. This is in addition to the new hate crimes task force the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office created last December.
“This act of hate is shocking and abhorrent, especially at a time of great division in this country,” said Cuomo.
Last week, Mayor de Blasio came to Midwood to denounce the recent uptick in hate crime reports, of which two-thirds have been against Jewish residents.
Late last year, in Midwood, someone scrawled a swastika on the door of a 77-year-old woman’s home. In Crown Heights, three men attempted to burglarize two separate Jewish residents within 15 minutes late last month. The three men will be arraigned on Feb. 27.
Alexander Rapaport, the executive director of Masbia Soup Kitchen Network in neighboring Williamsburg, also chimed in about what he claims is “not a new phenomenon.”
“For those of us who have lived in Brooklyn for all our lives, attacks on Jews and on Jewish properties is not a new phenomenon, but attacks on Jewish places of worship is definitely something more severe,” said Rapaport.
“I am not sure if the amount of attacks has gone up or the police are finally paying more attention and filing reports on them,” he added.