February 17, 2021

Temple Beth-El Torah study Zoom event hijacked with hate speech

Great Neck, NY
- A Temple Beth-El virtual Torah study event was interrupted by antisemitic intruders on Saturday morning, according to temple officials.

A joint statement from temple President Gary Slobin and Executive Director Stuart Botwinick said several unknown people logged onto the Shabbat Torah study Zoom event and proceeded to “post offensive material and speak words of hate.” The event was promptly ended, according to the statement, and the police were contacted to investigate.

Officials said that they did not believe Temple Beth-El, located at 5 Old Mill Road in Great Neck, was a target for any specific reason other than its role as a Jewish temple. Officials said they are working with the temple’s security consultants to ensure incidents such as this do not occur again.

“As Jews, we have experienced hatred and antisemitism in our history … and we know the importance of being strong and proudly standing up in our own defense,” the statement said. “While there will always be moments of darkness and acts of evil, our community will stand united, strong and never bend to intimidation. May we continue to go from strength to strength.”

Officials from the Nassau County Police Department’s 6th Precinct said that the investigation was ongoing.