Swastika, anti-Semetic slurs found in Shelter Rock Jewish Center

Swastika, anti-Semetic slurs found in Shelter Rock Jewish Center
(Photo courtesy of Shelter Rock Jewish Center)

A swastika and anti-Semitic words written in black pen on a painting were found at the Shelter Rock Jewish Center in Searingtown Sunday morning, according to Nassau County police.

Shelter Rock Jewish Center Director of Education Silvia Kogan noticed the scrawling on the painting, located in a rarely used stairwell. The subject of the painting was not disclosed.

Kogan declined to comment on the incident. Efforts to reach Rabbi Martin Cohen were unavailing.

The stairwell is not commonly used, according to police, and it was not known at this point when the image and words defaced the painting. Police are investigating the writings as a bias incident.

In a statement, County Executive Laura Curran decried the act and said that there is no place for hatred anywhere in the county.

“In Nassau, an attack on one people is an attack on all people. And an attack on one faith is an attack on all faiths. America was built on the ideal that people of different backgrounds can live and thrive together,” Curran said. 

“We will not look away when we are confronted with bigotry in our backyard. The act of hatred on display at the Shelter Rock Jewish Center must be condemned loudly.”

U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove) condemned the attack on the Jewish community.

“Anti-Semitism is real and we must fight it,” Suozzi said in a statement. “If we do not speak out when community centers are threatened and when dehumanizing rhetoric rears its head, we risk turning a blind eye to the same anti-Semitism that once formed the permissive foundation for genocide.”

Anti-Jewish incidents nationally spiked by more than a third in 2017 from 2016 to drive up hate crimes 17.2 percent overall, FBI data released in 2018 shows.

The release of data came about two weeks after the Oct. 27 mass shooting in the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, where 11 people were killed and six others wounded in the deadliest attack against the Jewish community in American history, unnerved many on the North Shore.

In August 2017, county detectives said a school security officer patrolling Syosset High School found anti-Semitic writings, including swastikas, along walls, doors and windows in the rear of the school.

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