Chief Investigative Reporter Jonathan Dienst on crime, corruption and terrorism.

Suspect Being Questioned in Brooklyn Mezuzah Burnings

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A burned mezuzah in a Williamsburg apartment building.

    Police are questioning a suspect in connection with the burnings of a dozen mezuzahs over the last several days in Brooklyn. 

    Mezuzahs are Hebrew-inscribed parchments affixed to doorways of Jewish homes. Authorities say the 35-year-old man was seen on surveillance cameras lighting a match in one of the Williamsburg buildings where the mezuzahs were burned.

    Mezuzah Burnings Probed as Possible Hate Crime: Sources

    [NY] Mezuzah Burnings Probed as Possible Hate Crime: Sources
    Police are investigating a possible hate crime in Brooklyn where mezuzahs were burned off the doorframes of at least a dozen apartments inside a public housing building, according to law enforcement sources. Ida Siegal reports. (Published Tuesday, Apr 9, 2013)

    Eleven mezuzahs were found vandalized on Monday in one building on Taylor Street, and another a day later in a building on Clymer Street.

    Police are investigating the burnings as possible hate crimes.

    Meanwhile, Williamsburg residents are decrying the sacrilege. 

    "It's a really low thing to do," said Rachel Hoffman, a mother of seven who lives in the building on Clymer Street. 

    Sara Stern, an advocate for Holocaust survivors in the community, said this particular kind of vandalism is especially hurtful. The first set of burned mezuzahs were found on Holocaust Remembrance Day.

    "A mezuzah is a symbol of our protection," she said. "It's a symbol of remembrance that God is protecting us. So when you attack the very symbol of our tradition, of our core values, you actually attack the entire family that's behind that door."
     

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