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Crown Heights attacks on 2 Jewish men condemned by community

‘We cannot let this undo” 20 years of progress in relations, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said at the Crown Heights gathering.

Rabbi Eli Cohen speaks at a news conference

Rabbi Eli Cohen speaks at a news conference on Monday along with Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and other Crown Heights community leaders to denounce recent anti-Semitic crimes in the area. Photo Credit: Linda Rosier

Angry community members gathered in Crown Heights on Monday, just days after a 50-year-old man was attacked while walking home from Shabbat services.

The man was apparently beaten and strangled, and anti-Semitic threats were yelled at him, authorities said. According to reports, the victim suffered a black eye, a broken rib and scratches to his neck and back.

The Anti-Defamation League is offering a $5,000 reward for information on that attack, as well as on a separate incident April 14 by the corner of Eastern Parkway and Kingston Avenue in which an Orthodox Jewish man was punched in the face, leaving him with a broken nose.

“We did too much over the last 20 some-odd years to bring the community together,” Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said, during a gathering on Monday of community leaders by the corner of Rutland Road and Schenectady Avenue, where the latest attack occurred. “We cannot let this undo that.”

Adams said “everyone who heard about this . . . should have reached a level of anger that we are at now.”

The NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating the most recent incident, police said. No arrests have been made.

Evan Bernstein, the New York regional director of the ADL, pointed to a rise in anti-Semitic incidents in the city: there were 234 reported last year — ranging from vandalism to assaults — a 90 percent jump from 2016, according to the group.

“No Jew, no minority, should ever walk the streets in fear,” Bernstein said Monday. “We can’t let anti-Semitic attacks be normalized.”

Crown Heights was once the scene of high tensions between the Jewish and black communities that call the neighborhood home, sparking violent riots in 1991 when a 7-year-old boy, who was black, was fatally hit by a station wagon that was part of a motorcade for a Jewish rabbi. A group of black teens then fatally stabbed a 29-year-old Jewish man.


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