BROOKLYN — A tall wooden menorah outside a Kensington Jewish Center went up in flames on the eve of Rosh Hashana, and cops are investigating it as a possible hate crime, an NYPD spokesman said.
The menorah stood outside Chabad Lubavitch—which has been closed for renovations for several months—on Ocean Parkway. Its base began burning shortly after midnight Wednesday, according to the FDNY and reports.
Amateur video broadcast by ABC 7 shows the fire raging outside the Jewish center.
Firefighters finally brought the blaze under control about an hour later, an FDNY spokeswoman said. No injuries were reported, she added.
The NYPD's Hate Crimes Task Force was investigating the incident, a police spokesman said. No arrests had been made as of Thursday morning, he added.
“It’s obviously very troubling,” said Chabad Lubavitch Rabbi Yehuda Levin. “We are here to bring out the light of our heritage to everyone, and the menorah symbolizes that."
Levin said the fact the inferno came on the eve of Rosh Hashana, which marks the Jewish New Year, made it even more painful.
“The point is the symbolic factor," he said. "The menorah really shows what we're about. It's the soul of who we are."