(JTA) — A mikveh under construction in a controversial new ultra-Orthodox neighborhood in upstate New York was vandalized with graffiti and swastikas.
The vandalism in Bloomingburg, in the Catskills area, was discovered Sunday night. The new Satmar neighborhood was built to solve a Haredi Orthodox housing shortage.
Its main developer, Shalom Lamm, pleaded guilty to voter fraud in a scheme to gain control over local government.
The local sheriff’s office has opened an investigation into the incident.
The incident comes after swastikas were discovered spray-painted on a realtor’s sign and street sign in suburban Rockland County, New York, on June 17. In the weeks prior to the recent incidents, swastikas were discovered in a state park and on a neighborhood fence, and the words “No Jews” were spray-painted in a house up for sale.
The Anti-Defamation League condemned the vandalism.
“A mikveh is a central piece of Jewish life, and spray-painting swastikas and crude symbols strikes at the heart of traditional Jewish life and practice,” said Evan Bernstein, ADL New York Regional director, said in a statement.