Police Investigate More Mezuzah Vandalism in Brooklyn

By Shimon Prokupecz and Andrew Siff
|  Sunday, Jul 7, 2013  |  Updated 9:17 PM EDT
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Mezuzah Burnings Probed as Possible Hate Crime: Sources

Police are seeking a person of interest (inset) in the burnings of several mezuzahs in Williamsburg.

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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.
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Police are investigating the vandalism of another mezuzah in Brooklyn, a day after several of the religious objects on doorways were burned in another Williamsburg building.

A law enforcement official confirms police were at 130 Clymer St. Tuesday after a report that a mezuzah was vandalized there.

The call comes after hate crime investigators were looking into the burning of several door markers at 85 Taylor St. on Monday, about two blocks away.

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

A mezuzah is an object inscribed with Hebrew verses that is affixed to doorways outside Jewish homes. 

Sara Stern, an advocate for Holocaust survivors in the community, described how the vandalism is especially hurtful.

"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." 

Police have released a photo of a person of interest in both arsons. He's described as about 20 to 25 years old, and was seen inside 130 Clymer St. wearing a purple do-rag, a black jacket with a "NY" symbol on the shoulder and "New York" across the chest. 

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