Police investigate swastika on Clinton Hill Jewish Community Center

Police investigate swastika on Clinton Hill Jewish Community Center
Photo by Kevin Duggan

Police are investigating a swastika that some bigot drew on a Grand Avenue Jewish Community Center on May 22.

An employee found the anti-Semitic symbol on the front door of the community center between Greene and Gates avenues at 7 a.m. and investigators have notified the Police Department’s Hate Crime bureau, a spokesman told this paper.

Staff and parents were in shock when they discovered the hateful symbol outside the building, which functions as a child care center, preschool, after school, and summer camp facility, according to a statement by the organization which runs the premises.

“On Wednesday morning, at JCC Brooklyn at Clinton Hill, our preschool teachers and parents were shocked to discover a swastika outside their school,” The Kings Bay Y said in an emailed statement.

This was the first time the organization was the target of a hate attack, but it is part of an uptick in bigoted speech and actions against Jews and other communities, the statement continued.

“Kings Bay Y/JCC Brooklyn was the target today for the first time that anyone can remember,” the statement read. “In some respects, this may be considered an isolated incident, but it is part of a pattern of malicious speech and actions elsewhere in our community and across our country. We will continue to be vigilant about and mindful of any acts of ignorance or hatred.”

The event comes just weeks after a string of violent attacks against Orthodox Jews in Williamsburg.

A city bus driver allegedly tried to refuse service to an Orthodox Jewish man in the northern nabe in April, claiming he would infect her with the measles virus, amid an outbreak of the potentially fatal illness that recently spread among the borough’s Orthodox communities.

Hate crimes against various communities are soaring across the five boroughs, with 145 hate crimes reported between Jan. 1 and April 30, a 67 percent increase over the 87 reported hate crimes reported during the same period in 2018.

Of those, more than half targeted Jews in the first quarter of both 2018 and 2019, with 82 attacks against Jewish New Yorker’s this year alone.

Reach reporter Kevin Duggan at (718) 260–2511 or by e-mail at kduggan@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @kduggan16.
The center covered up the bigoted graffiti by the afternoon.
Photo by Kevin Duggan