Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Fast Forward

Israeli restaurant and cars near synagogue sprayed with antisemitic graffiti in NYC

This story was updated on Feb. 18.

Miriam had been open for less than a month before someone sprayed it with antisemitic graffiti.

On Thursday morning, the staff found “f— Jews” spray painted at least three times on the perimeter of the Upper West Side restaurant’s outdoor dining area.

It was “sad to see,” said owner and chef Rafael Hasid. “Why do people have to hate so much?”

“I’m not telling my family about it,” he added, because he does not want to worry his mother who lives in Israel. “When you’re farther away, everything seems to be worse than what it really is. I don’t want to get her upset.”

Hasid has been in the United States for 22 years and opened the popular Park Slope branch of “Miriam,” known for its Israeli food and brunch scene, 17 years ago. He told me this incident is not the first time his restaurants have been targeted.

“It’s not a nice thing to have as a restaurant owner, but life goes on. We’re just going to paint over it and hope it doesn’t happen again.”

Also on Thursday morning, the head of Park East Synagogue’s security team discovered that a few vehicles parked near the building had been marked with antisemitic graffiti. The tags included the words and phrases “f— Jews,” “f— Jewish” and “incest,” according to police. Both investigations are ongoing and no arrests have been made.

“This happened under a cloud of great concern about antisemitism, but now it’s really on our doorstep,” Park East Cantor Benny Rogosnitzky said on Friday.

“It was certainly upsetting,” he added. “It’s not something you want to see and it’s certainly not something you want children to see.”

The synagogue, which also runs a school several days a week, will hold a security training meeting for congregants next week. Though scheduled months ago, the event has seen dramatic uptick in enrollment following last month’s Texas synagogue attack.

According to the latest FBI hate crimes data, the majority of anti-Jewish incidents in the U.S. are property crimes. But some residents are on edge following recent violent attacks on Jews, particularly on Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn.

“I just hope nothing worse than this will happen,” said Hasid. “As long as no one gets hurt physically, I can put it behind me and keep on going.”

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.