Vandals broke two public menorahs in Park Slope and Prospect Heights on Monday night, according to a local rabbi who believes the attacks were fueled by hate — anti-Semitic or otherwise.
“This definitely came from a place of hate, either of the holiday display, or the display of Jewishness, or if it’s teenagers that have issues in general, but it’s definitely something very concerning,” said Rabbi Mendy Hecht of the Chabad Jewish Center of Prospect Heights, which is responsible for both menorahs.
The assaults on the symbols of Hanukkah happened in tandem and together destroyed about $1,600 worth of property, according to Hecht.
A park-goer discovered the candelabra at Park Slope Playground off Lincoln Place with broken branches and cut wires on Tuesday morning.
A Parks Department employee found a second trashed candlestick at Underhill Playground in Prospect Heights the same day, Hecht said.
Both menorahs were securely fastened at their respective locations, making it unlikely either was damaged by high winds or other foul weather conditions, Hecht said.
It’s unclear whether the destruction was the work of one candle vandal or two with the same plan, Hecht said.
“We don’t know if it was two different people, or the same vandals,” he said.
To bring awareness to the wanton destruction, Borough President Adams will join Hecht at Park Slope Playground on Wednesday night, where they will light an undamaged menorah for the fifth night of Hanukkah.
Menorah lighting at Park Slope Playground (Lincoln Place between Fifth and Sixth Avenues in Park Slope), Dec. 28 at 5 pm.