Thursday, February 18, 2021

Swastika found painted on Rego Park Jewish Center; Hate Crimes Task Force investigating 

The State Police Hate Crimes task force on Thursday was directed to assist in the investigation of anti-Semitic graffiti found outside a Queens Jewish Center.

According to Avi Cyperstein, a candidate for City Council, the swastika was found scrawled across a "public property" sign affixed to the steps that lead into the synagogue on Queens Blvd. in the Rego Park section of the borough.

He notes that upon discovering the hate symbol, he noticed the paint was still wet and says it was likely a recent act.

Cyperstein said that NYPD officers and members from the Hate Crimes Unit collected evidence, including photographs, and then he and a member of the Queens Borough Safety Patrol were able to remove the graffiti.

In a statement, he said that hateful acts such as this are happening more and more frequently, and he hopes that the city can put a stop to the rise in crime.

"Hate is a problem that has been on the rise and getting worse over time in NYC. Not just against Jewish people but across many diverse communities including Asian Americans. However, it takes a particular kind of hatred to draw a swastika on a synagogue," Cyperstein said. "We have to remember what a swastika represents, and we have to ensure that crime of this type is investigated to the fullest extent and that criminals who do such things are prosecuted and held responsible for their deliberate actions. As a community activist, nonprofit founder and first responder, now running for City Council District 29, I am hearing more about these incidents and it's important that these hate crimes be taken seriously and not let it become the norm."

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday said he was "disgusted" by the hate-filled graffiti found at a place "where many members of the Jewish community come to feel safe and at home."


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