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Police Investigating Bias Graffiti Outside Williamsburg Synagogue

By  Fred Dreier and Theodore Parisienne | June 19, 2012 3:32pm 

Cops at the scene where a hateful message was scrawled into the pavement outside a Brooklyn Synagogue  on Tuesday June 19th, 2012.
Cops at the scene where a hateful message was scrawled into the pavement outside a Brooklyn Synagogue on Tuesday June 19th, 2012.
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DNAinfo/Theodore Parisienne

WILLIAMSBURG — Police are investigating a possible hate crime in South Williamsburg after finding racially charged vandalism scrawled on a street in front of a synagogue Tuesday, authorities said.

The offending graffiti was discovered written in white chalk in front of Synagogue Kerestiel Shul at 402 Berry St., at the corner of South Eighth Street, Tuesday about 6:30 a.m., NYPD officials said. 

The vandalism — which spelled “F---k Jews” in large white letters — is being investigated by the NYPD's Hate Crimes Task Force, police said.

The incident shocked local residents who feel the Jewish community is under threat following a series of similar bias incidents in Brooklyn.

"This is bad and it is uncomfortable," said Boruch Rubin, 19, a janitor at the synagogue, who could not recall any other incidents of bias vandalism at the location in the past.  "It is not how it should be."

The incident comes after a string of swastikas was found spray-painted in Borough Park and Kensington, including at a synagogue and other Jewish institutions, authorities said.

Police are also investigating those cases as a hate crime, as well as a vandalism spree in Williamsburg where the windows of eight cars were damaged with a pellet gun.

Police could not say whether all the incidents are related.

"I hope they find out who did that," said Orlando Pitre, 47, a longtime former resident of the neighborhood.  

"In my opinion I think the Jewish neighborhoods should be patrolled by cops 24 hours a day, because when nobody's looking is when these things are happening,” he added. "It's a shame."

Some believed the vandalism was the work of younger people and not connected to the more high-profile recent bias incidents.

"This is kids stuff, I don't think it's a pattern of anti-Semitism," said a member of the Hasidic community at the scene, Mordechar, who declined to provide his last name.

"I don't think they should make a fuss out of this. When they get this attention, it's mission accomplished."

Others thought the graffiti sent a bad message to local youth.

"It is very bad for the kids," said Joe Goldberg, 30, a resident and building manager in the area. "People will come and look at this, and it's a very scary thing."