Bronx synagogue vandalism incidents have Jewish communities on edge

RIVERDALE, The Bronx (WABC) -- Police are releasing more video of the man they say went on an anti-Semitic vandalism spree in the Bronx last week.

The suspect threw rocks at the windows of four synagogues, leaving a trail of broken glass and a community deeply concerned about safety.

There has been round the clock police surveillance at all synagogues in Riverdale since last Saturday, and on Thursday, local activists say anti-Semitism is rocking the neighborhood. Now, now even the Guardian Angels are patrolling.

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Police say the Riverdale Jewish Center was attacked at 1:30 a.m. when the suspect threw rocks at the windows, costing roughly $250 in property damage.


The suspect was caught on camera smashing windows of the Young Isreal of Riverdale on Henry Hudson Parkway East.

"He was on candid camera and he couldn't care less," former New York state Assemblyman Dov Hikind said.

His boldness is a concerning element for local activists and leaders who gathered at the Riverdale Jewish Center, which was also vandalized.

Detectives say the suspect targeted the Jewish houses of worship sometime between early last Friday morning and late Saturday night. The proximity of the synagogues and the time of the crimes leads investigators to believe it was one suspect.

The rash of vandalisms sending alarm bells across Jewish neighborhoods in all boroughs, and some concerned the spike in anti-Semitism is only getting worse.

"Even if they catch the guy, which I'm assuming they will with the all the tech out there, what's going to happen to him?" Bronx resident Alan Gotlie said. "He'll be out the same day with a slap on the wrist."

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Anti-Semites adopted a new tactic for spewing their hate when the COVID-19 pandemic closed synagogues and Jewish schools and community centers: hijacking video conferences.


There have so far been no arrests, but police and neighbors are keeping a close eye on the streets and their surroundings, hoping someone will recognize the man in the surveillance pictures.

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