Two more synagogues targeted by rock-throwing assailant

Riverdale, The Bronx, NY
- Jewish houses of worship have been the target of a vandal in the Bronx, prompting a response from city and state leaders to investigate the reported antisemitic acts.

Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted Sunday that the NYPD's Hate Crimes Task Force "has a solid lead on the vile acts of antisemitism in the Bronx and we will take swift action against the perpetrators."

Over the course of several nights, four synagogues in the borough were damaged by an unidentified suspect hurling rocks. Police said Chabad of Riverdale and Riverdale Jewish Center were hit around 12:30 a.m. Friday.

The same synagogues were targeted against Saturday night, as well as the Conservative Synagogue and Young Israel of Riverdale. In each instance, windows and doors were shattered or significantly damaged by thrown rocks.

In the reports shared by the NYPD, the department describes a single assailant is responsible for each of the incidents.

The string of incidents has similarly caught the attention of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who directed the New York State Police Hate Crimes Task Force on Sunday to assist in the city's investigation.
"We stand with Jewish New Yorkers--an essential part of the fabric of our state--as we do with all victims of bigotry, and I look forward to seeing this investigation resolved quickly," the governor said in a statement.

Despite the attacks, congregants still showed up for evening services on Sunday. NYPD officers were seen guarding the outside of worship houses throughout the weekend.

"The synagogue has been the central point of all Jewish society so whoever they are...whenever someone wants to attack Jews the first thing they go after is the synagogue," said Harvey Wolintz.

"So maybe some people won't come to the synagogues. They'll be afraid for a while. I can't get that in the way, once you do that, they've won already," Wolintz added.

Elected leaders who represent the Riverdale section of the Bronx issued a joint statement Sunday afternoon.

"We condemn in the strongest possible terms the hate crimes and vandalism that are occurring in Riverdale. No one should be attacked or living in fear because of their race, religion, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. The threat towards synagogues and other Jewish institutions is real and we must treat these issues head on," said Rep. Jamaal Bowman, State Sen. Alessandra Biaggi, State Assemblymember Jeffrey Dinowitz, and Councilmember Eric Dinowitz.

Source: NBC New York