Extra patrols have been sent to the corner of Avenue L and East 29th Street after swastikas were found on a side door of a neighborhood synagogue.
Officials at the Agudath Israel of Midwood, 2913 Avenue L, said that mischievous kids could have been responsible for the swastika smear discovered at 10:30 a.m. last Thursday morning.
“Some of the students in our building came over to me that morning and told me what they found,” said building manager Ike Dachs. “I ran in and called 911 and by the time I walked back out, six or seven police cars were already there.”
Area video surveillance tapes showed that the graffiti – two swastikas and a handful of tags – were put up on the building sometime around 2:30 p.m. the day before, during dismissal time of a local public school, officials said.
It’s believed that the graffiti could have been written as kids from the local school were waiting at a corner bus stop.
“You can’t see anyone doing it, because you would have had to step in the doorway to write on the door,” Dachs said. “But they [school kids] were the only ones who were there.”
Since the graffiti was left in the daytime while the 23-year-old synagogue was open, it’s not believed that the hate-filled symbols were directed at the congregation.
“We think it was more about juvenile delinquency than it was based on hate,” Dachs said.
Yet, since the swastikas were found on a house of worship, detectives are treating the incident as a “possible bias crime.”
In response, cops from the 70th Precinct have sent out additional foot and scooter patrols to the area to keep an eye on the shul, according to a precinct spokesperson.
Dachs said that even though it isn’t believed that the synagogue is being targeted, news of the swastika smear resonated throughout the 300-member congregation.
“It did affect some of the people who come here,” Dachs said. “We have a few congregants who are Holocaust survivors or relatives of Holocaust survivors and when they see something like that it still bothers them.”
As they up patrols in the area, cops are asking anyone with information regarding the vandalism to come forward.
Calls can be made to the NYPD CrimeStoppers hotline at (800) 577-TIPS. All calls will be kept confidential.