Mineola synagogue vandalized with swastikas

| July 3, 2009

Rabbi Anchelle Perl wasn’t at Congregation Beth Shalom Chabad in Mineola on Friday morning as he usually is, as the temple was closed for the Fourth of July weekend.

Instead, he got a call unlike any he’s ever received: Someone had sprayed two large, bright orange swastikas on the synagogue’s front doors.

"As soon as I came and saw it was a swastika, I realized this was a bias crime," said Perl, leader of the congregation for the past 20 years.

Perl called the police, who he said responded swiftly. And he got a visit from Nassau Police Commissioner Lawrence Mulvey.

He said he also received supportive calls from state Sen. Craig Johnson and Mineola Mayor Jack Martins.

"This is not just an attack on the Jewish community, this is an attack on people of all faiths," said Johnson’s chief of staff, Rafe Lieber. "It is outrageous that such hate-filled acts continue in this day and age. Senator Johnson’s thoughts and prayers are with Rabbi Perl and the entire Mineola Chabad congregation."

"It was so heartwarming to see the immediate response," said Perl.

Nassau police said they are investigating and had no suspects. Police request anyone with information about the crime call Crime Stoppers at 800-244-TIPS.

"My father survived . . . Auschwitz and, later on, slave camps," said Perl. "So that strikes home a lot in that sense. [He] taught us not to have any hatred, even though he saw so much hatred."

Three vehicles on nearby Lincoln Avenue were also spray- painted with similar swastikas, police said.

Perl noted the "ironic" timing of the crime.

"July Fourth is such an important day for America, and its message to the world of diversity and respect for each others’ religions and certainly for each others’ places of worship," he said.



Tags: , ,

Category: Synagogue/Jewish Security