Eleven mezuzahs and doorframes were set on fire in Brooklyn on Monday, in what New York police is treating as a hate crime.
The vandalism took place at the Taylor White Public Houses, in the predominantly haredi section of South Williamsburg. Mezuzahs were scorched from the third floor all the way up to the 12th, WABC reported.
“This was a brazen act of religious desecration, and it is something that is shocking to everyone in this community,” City Councilman Stephen Levin told WABC.
The act was particularly disturbing in that it took place on Holocaust Remembrance Day.
“Nothing but hatred can explain why someone would burn mezuzahs on Yom Hashoah, the day we remember the six million Jews killed during the Holocaust,” said Public Advocate Bill de Blasio.
“This is a sickening act of prejudice that strikes at the very core of who we are as a city,” de Blasio added in a statement. “Make no mistake: We will find those responsible.”
The Hate Crimes Task force is searching for those responsible, said Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne., adding that because of the artifacts burned were religious symbols, the police was treating the crime as an act of anti-Semitism.
The mezuzahs, a symbol of protection, did their job: no one in the targeted apartments was physically hurt.
Anne Cohen is the Forward’s deputy digital media editor. When she’s not looking for the secret Jewish history of Voodoo in New Orleans, or making lists about Ruth Bader Ginsburg, she writes for The Assimilator. She graduated from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism with an M.S. magazine concentration in 2012.