Menorah vandalized in Upper East Side park on 1st night of Hanukkah

UPPER EAST SIDE, Manhattan (WABC) -- Authorities are investigating after a menorah was vandalized and knocked over inside an Upper East Side park on the first night of Hanukkah.

The incident was reported just after 9:30 p.m. Sunday, just hours after hundreds of people gathered in Carl Schurz Park at East 86th Street and East End Avenue to celebrate the lighting of the first light.

"Last night we gathered to kindle the menorah, bringing light to the world," said Rabbi Elie Weinstock, of Cong. Kehilath Jeshurun (KJ). "And this morning, we found that we were met by an act of darkness. But light always overcomes darkness, and tonight we plan to light the menorah again."

The organizers of the menorah lighting, Cong. Kehilath Jeshurun (KJ) and Chabad of the Upper East Side, held another lighting Monday evening at the same site. The lighting took place on the promenade at the 86th Street entrance, and Mayor Bill de Blasio was in attendance.

Officials say there were also reports that the menorah was knocked over Saturday evening as well, but without any significant damage.

The incident is being investigated as a possible bias incident by the NYPD's Hate Crimes Unit. Anyone with information is asked to contact police.
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