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Community Rallies in Face of Menorah Vandalism at UES Park 

By Shaye Weaver | December 8, 2015 10:19am
 The menorah at Carl Schurz Park was repaired and relit on Monday night.
The Jewish Community Turned Out for the Relighting of the Menorah at Carl Schurz Park
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YORKVILLE — The Jewish community gathered at Carl Schurz Park on Monday with a defiant message to the culprit behind the defacing of a menorah over the weekend.

An unknown suspect tipped over the large menorah twice early Saturday morning and Sunday night — an act of vandalism police are investigating as a possible hate crime, according to the NYPD.

More than 100 people gathered in the park for a relighting ceremony on Monday to celebrate the community's resiliency and Hanukkah. 

"There is a battle between good and evil and there's a battle between right and wrong ... and like the Maccabees, we are committed to winning that battle," said Rabbi Elie Weinstock of Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun, who was joined at the event with members of the Chabad of the Upper East Side and Mayor Bill de Blasio.

"We are here to recognize the fact that the flame of light, of goodness, peace, unity, decency, values, morality and faith will overcome ... and those committed to [these things] will penetrate whatever darkness will come our way."



Rabbi Elie Weinstock lights the menorah.

A video posted by Shaye Weaver (@dnashaye) on

During the event, de Blasio pointed to the large number of people who turned out for the relighting ceremony as a symbol of the community's support.

"It is so important each and every time to stand up," de Blasio said.

"There are people who try to belittle us and make us feel less than what we are, but in this city, we learned a long time ago that when we see an act of hate, we must respond to it. We can't look away from it and we can't minimize it."



Mayor de Blasio dances after the menorah lighting.

A video posted by Shaye Weaver (@dnashaye) on


Upper East Side resident Diane Joffey said by bringing the community together, she hopes the vandal can be found more quickly.

"In the 40 years I've lived in the city, I've never seen anything remotely like this," she said.

"I think everybody needs to be together and that we need to get on top of this right away. We need to find the culprit right away."