Dec. 1, 2021 By Allie Griffin
Local leaders gathered together Tuesday to denounce the suspected vandalism of a menorah in Hollis Hills.
A large menorah that was erected on a traffic island at the intersection of Union Turnpike and 220th Street was knocked down on Saturday evening, according to Assembly Member David Weprin’s office.
Most of the lights on the menorah were smashed just a day before the start of Hanukkah.
Weprin called together local officials and religious leaders Tuesday after learning of the alleged anti-Semitic act.
“No acts of vandalism or anti-Semitism will ever be tolerated,” he said. “Each incident is dehumanizing and a repugnant stain on our community.”
Rabbi Yerachmiel Zalmanov, who put up the menorah, reported the vandalism to the NYPD.
Weprin warned the unknown perpetrators that both the police and the community are on the lookout.
“We are watching,” Weprin said. “The hard-working members of law enforcement are watching. And this community — where we always have each other’s backs — is watching.”
The incident comes just weeks after a man threatened to burn down a Union Turnpike bagel shop, Bagels & Co., for flying Israeli flags. Last week, local leaders gathered outside the shop to denounce the threats. The suspect has yet to be apprehended.
“Barely a week has passed since our community came together to condemn an act of antisemitism at Bagels & Co., and today, we are compelled to once again gather in defiance of yet another act of intolerance,” said State Sen. John Liu, who joined Weprin Tuesday.
“That this vandalism occurred as New Yorkers celebrated the first night of Hanukkah stings all the more, but our community will never waiver in our determination to fight back against hatred and division in any form.”
Assembly Member Nily Rozic and Council Member Barry Grodenchik as well as Rabbis Zalmanov, David Wise, Gary Greene and Mayer Waxman also joined the gathering to denounce the alleged anti-Semitism.