Fire set outside Park Slope synagogue on holy day

Cops are hunting for an arsonist who set a fire outside a Park Slope synagogue during Yom Kippur.
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Police are investigating the events surrounding a burning backpack found outside of a Park Slope synagogue during Yom Kippur on Wednesday.

The smoldering luggage was discovered on the steps of the Park Slope Jewish Center near Eighth Avenue and 14th Street shortly before 1 am on Oct. 9 — during the holiest day of the Jewish religion, according to police.

Firefighters arrived on the scene and extinguished the mini-inferno, which did not result in any injuries, cops said.

Police released surveillance footage of a possible arsonist, and the department’s Hate Crime Task Force has been notified about the incident, according to a spokesman.

Crimes with anti-Semitic motivations have risen by around 30 percent year-to-date throughout this city, according to Police Department statistics.

In an effort to prevent more hate crimes during the Jewish holy day, the police department had deployed over 130 additional officers at Jewish religious institutions city-wide, more than a quarter of whom have been stationed in Brooklyn, according to Chief of Department Terrance Monahan.

“We’re going to have a very large presence out in Brooklyn and throughout the city tonight through Yom Kippur,” said Monahan at an unrelated press conference on Oct. 8.

Anyone who provides police with information leading to an arrest can expect up to a $2,500 reward through the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers program. The public can phone their tips to (800) 577-8477, log into the Crime Stoppers website at, tweet @NYPDTips, or text tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

All calls are strictly confidential.

Reach reporter Aidan Graham at or by calling (718) 260–4577. Follow him at
The pyro set the blaze to a backpack outside of the Park Slope Jewish Center near Eighth Avenue and 14th Street during the holiest day of the Jewish religion.

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