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Hate symbols mailed to Jewish businesses, prompting police probe

Scary: Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D–Borough Park) and Avrumi Weiss of Weiss Bakery in Borough Park examine the chilling, bigoted letter received on Oct. 2.
Brooklyn Paper
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Cops are investigating a rash of racist letters with swastikas inside that were mailed out to law firms in Sheepshead Bay, kosher bakeries in Borough Park, and other businesses throughout the city since Sept. 29.

One targeted law firm on Voorhies Avenue received the offensive missive on the eve of one of the most holy Jewish holidays — Yom Kippur — making the hate crime even more disturbing, said a partner at the firm.

“I think the timing was calculated to add more strife and grief — shock value,” said the attorney, who asked to remain anonymous because of the nature of the threat. “I feel disgusted by it — I understand people harbor hatred, but to go through the trouble of licking an envelope, and placing a stamp, and writing the address, and sending it in the mail, the act is grotesque and disgusting.”

The bigots sent out the letters, which target black, gay, and Jewish people, to at least seven businesses throughout the city from Sept. 29 through Oct. 2, according to police.

They invoke President Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again,” and they all also include the Nazi slogan “Juden Raus,” which means “Jews out,” and state that “Negroes and f------ must burn in hell,” according to photos of the letter shared online.

A second Coney Island Avenue law firm received the same letter, police said — but unfortunately, there may be more who just haven’t come forward yet, according to the attorney at the Voorhies Avenue legal office, who said the frightening message is a first for him and his company.

“I was surprised that this would happen in a city like New York, where there is such a wide diversity of people,” he said. “I was quite taken aback by this. We don’t know if there are others. We’re being vigilant.”

And in light of horrific events unfolding across the country, every threatening act must be taken seriously, said the local pol.

“After what happened in Las Vegas, it is important we take every perceived threat extremely seriously. The swastika represents hate, anti-Semitism, and oppression,” said Councilman Chaim Deutsch (D–Sheepshead Bay). “It is despicable that someone would target Jewish businesses with a symbol of the Holocaust, particularly in a community where so many survivors still live. We cannot and will not tolerate hatred directed at any race, religion, ethnicity, or individual.”

The police department’s Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
Updated 5:54 pm, July 9, 2018
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