New City Synagogue Undergoing Repairs Hit By Vandals

| July 10, 2010

Someone vandalized a New City synagogue sometime overnight, leaving human feces on the floor as part of the crime, according to Clarkstown police.

The West Nyack Jewish Center, located at 195 West Clarkstown Road, has been undergoing repairs since last summer when it was destroyed by fire. Someone broke in between 8 p.m. Thursday night and 8 a.m. Friday morning and damaged part of the sanctuary, according to the center's president, Herb Boxer.

"It was a feeling of disgust when I saw it," Boxer said. "It's another thing we didn't need at this time."

The vandals reportedly entered through a window. They smeared some some construction material on the windows and walls and someone defecated on the synagogue floor, according to police. Nothing was stolen and there were no anti-Semitic writings or drawings, police said.

The synagogue, which dates to 1931, has not been the victim of any type of major vandalism or threats in the past, said Boxer, who has been a member for 30 years.

"I certainly didn't expect this," he said. "(We've never had anything) of this nature in the past."

The synagogue's building committee will discuss whether it will install some type of security device, perhaps cameras or an alarm, in the next few weeks, Boxer said.

The synagogue was destroyed by a fire Aug. 10 after heavy winds brought down trees and a power line across the roof of center, igniting it. No one was injured, but most of the building was severely damaged. Among of the few things firefighters were able to salvage were three Torah scrolls.

The vandalism should not delay the construction, which is scheduled to be complete by late summer in time for the Jewish High Holidays in the early fall, Boxer said.

The synagogue is the religious center for 50 families and about 100 members. It has been having its services at the Ruben Gittelman Hebrew Day School, on New Hempstead Road, in New City, since the fire.

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Category: Synagogue/Jewish Security