Written by Joe Rizza Friday, 17 July 2009 00:00
Community members joined with Rabbi Anchelle Perl on the steps of Congregation Beth Shalom Chabad on Willis Avenue in Mineola last Tuesday to send a message that hate will not be tolerated. Between 5 p.m. on Thursday, July 2 and 5:30 a.m. on Friday, July 3, a Swastika, the symbol of the Nazis, who persecuted Jews, was painted on the front doors of Chabad.
“This despicable attack on us is also an attack on all of us. We stand in solidarity,” said Rabbi Perl. “We’re very grateful living here in the United States to have little experience with anti-Semitism. We felt hurt. We felt sad and we felt violated. It is a message of hatred. But, we are going to avoid losing ourselves to the negative stream of thought that results from being violated. Despite this attack, we remain passionately dedicated to society. We remain optimistic and proud.”
Rabbi Perl went on to say that the congregation is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest of the perpetrator of the crime. The Nassau County Police Department, through its Crime Stoppers, will be offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction for the crime for a total of a $6,000 reward.
Joining Rabbi Perl at the unity rally last week was Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi. “This is something we cannot tolerate and will not tolerate and we’ll make sure we hold people accountable for this type of behavior,” he said.
Also joining in the rally was Nassau County Police Commissioner Lawrence W. Mulvey. “The police department has no tolerance for those who peddle this kind of hate and we will use every resource available to bring those responsible [forth] and hold them accountable,” he said.
At last Wednesday evening’s meeting of the Village of Mineola Board of Trustees, Mineola Deputy Mayor Larry Werther called the painting of the Swastika on Chabad’s doors “an absolute despicable act.”
Anyone with information on the crime is asked to call Nassau County Police Crime Stoppers at 1-800-244 TIPS. All callers will remain anonymous.