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Menorah Defaced Twice at Carl Schurz Park, Police Say

By Shaye Weaver | December 7, 2015 6:10pm
 The big menorah at Carl Schurz Park was pushed over twice, police said.
The big menorah at Carl Schurz Park was pushed over twice, police said.
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Facebook/Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun

YORKVILLE — Police are investigating the vandalism of a large menorah in Carl Schurz Park that had been knocked down twice over the weekend, according to the NYPD.

On Saturday morning, between 12:30 and 1 a.m., an unknown suspect pushed over the menorah, which sits at the park at East 88th Street and East End Avenue, police said. Some of its bulbs were broken.

The menorah was put up again, but police were investigating the incident that day, according to Rabbi Elie Weinstock the Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun, which organizes the ceremony with the Chabad of the Upper East Side.

But again, on Sunday night, immediately following the menorah lighting, between 6:30 and 9:30 p.m., the menorah was pushed over again, breaking it in pieces, according to police and Weinstock.

Members of the Jewish community who were jogging in the park came across the broken pieces Monday morning, according to the rabbi.

"We were stunned. We've never dealt with this before in the eight years [the ceremony has been held]," he said.

"Half of it was shattered. It makes me angry someone would want to do something like this. It's sad that it happened to a symbol of light and hope and a Jewish holiday and that someone would for any reason, rather for a hateful or violent reason or in a drunken rage, would do that, which is the complete opposite of what [the holiday] is all about."

The incident is being investigated as a possible "biased incident" by the NYPD's Hate Crime Task Force, according to police.

Mayor Bill de Blasio, whose home is nearby, commented on the incidents, saying they "have no place here or anywhere."

The congregation worked with a handyman to repair the menorah and said it would hold a second  lighting at 8 p.m. on Monday night at the Carl Schurz Park promenade, just east of 86th Street and East End Avenue.

De Blasio was also expected to attend.

"People should know that what this Jewish holiday and the menorah it represents is about light triumphing over darkness," Weinstock said. "We will have to fight for what is right and we will win."


Dear Friends, Last night, hundreds of people gathered to watch the lighting of the giant menorah in Carl Schurz Park....

Posted by Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun on Monday, December 7, 2015