The vandalism in the Bronx neighborhood, which has a large Jewish population, occurred overnight on Saturday. The vandalized synagogues are the Riverdale Jewish Center, Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel of Riverdale, Young Israel of Riverdale and Chabad of Riverdale.
No suspect has been arrested, according to News12, a local Connecticut station. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo instructed the State Police Hate Crimes Task Force to assist in the investigation. Police presence will increase around the synagogues. But according to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, police have a solid lead, writing on Twitter that the NYPD will take "swift action" against this "vile act of antisemitism."
pic.twitter.com/hir3vMESYz— Can'tSpellButCanSue (@pinkhippos10) April 25, 2021
UPDATE: The @NYPDHateCrimes task force has a solid lead on the vile acts of anti-Semitism in the Bronx and we will take swift action against the perpetrators.If you have any more information on this case, contact the NYPD right away. https://t.co/CC15V2KMSa— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) April 25, 2021
“An attack on any synagogue is an attack on all synagogues, all Jewish institutions, and all houses of worship,” read a mass email sent Sunday by the Riverdale Jewish Community Partnership, an umbrella neighborhood group. “We will stand strong against hate and will continue to celebrate being Jewish, engage in our personal, institutional and communal activities and support one another.”
According to security footage reviewed by the Community Security Service, a volunteer synagogue security group, the suspect also vandalized two of the synagogues earlier in the week.
“We are concerned that Jewish institutions are being harassed or vandalized for the third consecutive time in one week,” CSS National Director Evan Bernstein said in a statement. “The eyewitness accounts of our volunteers, coupled with footage of the alleged perpetrator days before committing the acts, represents a clear desire to inflict harm on the Jewish community.”
"The fact that someone would specifically and repeatedly target houses of worship is of great distress to us all," Riverdale Jewish Center's Senior Rabbi Dovid Zirkind and president Marc Spear said in an email to local news outlet Gothamist. "An act of hate such as this is simply unacceptable."
Multiple New York politicians condemned the vandalism, stating that "The rise in hate crimes towards Jewish people is alarming and deeply painful to see. Hate has no place here.""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," Rep. Jamaal Bowman, State Sen. Alessandra Biaggi, State Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, and Councilmember Eric Dinowitz said in a joint statement."The threat towards synagogues and other Jewish institutions is real and we must treat these issues head on. Jewish people have been the victims of hate crimes and persecution for centuries, and this week’s events are a somber reminder that we must all be vigilant in weeding out antisemitism."