Thieves and vandals attacked three area synagogues in the last week, stealing eight Torahs from one in Queens and scrawling anti-Semitic graffiti on the other two in Staten Island and Long Island. It was the third time in a month that the Long Island synagogue, the Dix Hills Jewish Center, was struck by vandals.
The theft of all eight Torahs from the main sanctuary of the Jewish Center of Kew Gardens Hills was discovered when the ark was opened during morning services last Saturday.
The crisis in Venezuela deepened this week in the aftermath of the beating of a rabbi, Friday’s attack on a synagogue and the growing exodus of Israelis from Caracas.
All of this comes a month after Venezuela expelled Israel’s ambassador and the embassy’s staff because of Israel’s offensive in Gaza. In New York Monday, more than 150 demonstrators shouting “Never Again” rallied outside the Venezuelan Consulate to protest the country’s failure to protect its Jewish citizens.
As the Chabad movement mourns the shocking murders of two of its emissaries and four visitors in Mumbai, India, other representatives of the international Jewish outreach movement from Costa Rica to South Korea to Long Island are scrambling to review security procedures and put into place new protective measures.
Rabbi Osher Litzman, the Chabad representative of the recently opened Chabad House in Seoul, South Korea, told The Jewish Week that security for the Jewish community has always been very tight and will only get stronger post-Mumbai.
Reports that at least two of the four men charged with the attempt to bomb two Riverdale synagogues had become radical Muslims while in prison has refocused attention on this problem.
“I hope this will cause an impetus for change – to see how recruitment is accomplished in prison and what needs to be done in the future,” said Yehudit Barsky, director of the American Jewish Committee’s division on the Middle East and international terrorism.
(Posted 11:30 PM Wednesday)
Four men who planted what they believed were bombs outside two Riverdale synagogues Wednesday night were arrested before they could escape, police announced in a late night press conference.
All four men were also charged with attempting to use antiaircraft missiles to shoot down military planes at a military base in Newburgh, N.Y. They were charged with conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction in the United States and conspiracy to acquire and use anti-aircraft missiles.
Update: the suspect in the case, Stephen Morgan, was apprehended Thursday night
Jewish institutions in the New York metropolitan area were advised to increase their level of vigilance Thursday afternoon after it was learned that the suspect wanted in the killing of a Jewish student at Wesleyan University was a former New York University student.
What could be older than the Riverdale terrorist plot? It was way back in May that four Islamic men from Newburgh, N.Y., were arrested in the act of planting what they thought were bombs outside two Bronx synagogues. For most of us, the story is in hibernation. The trial is far off. What more is there to write?
Calm returned to Riverdale two weeks after the FBI arrested four Islamic men for plotting to blow up two neighborhood shuls as part of a larger plot. There was no further danger, said Jewish leaders, there was never real danger, the FBI was in control all along. Half of Riverdale seemed to twitter like the birds in Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf” — “all is quiet, all is quiet.”
It's time for Congress to stop playing politics with a law that will protect all minorities
There’s a good reason the Anti-Defamation League and a number of other major Jewish groups have made passage of a new hate crimes bill a top priority: there are still too many places in America where violent crimes against unpopular minorities are not investigated or prosecuted with any vigor.
Here’s the good news for the ADL and other Jewish groups that have fought for it for than a decade: the Senate today passed a new hate crimes bill expanding coverage of existing statutes to include, among others, gays and lesbians. The House already passed the measure.