Police are investigating whether a menorah that was apparently vandalized two nights in a row at an Upper East Side Park was the result of a hate crime.
The menorah, set up at Carl Schurz Park, first suffered minor damage on Saturday night, according to chabad.org, which added that a passerby apparently picked up the menorah shortly afterwards. The following evening authorities believe it was knocked over again and was more severely damaged.
“There’s no way it came down by accident, it kind of sat on a platform and clearly somebody pushed it over,” Alex Goldstein, who lives in the area, told 1010 WINS.
He also expressed his disbelief that the vandalism occurred at the start of Hanukkah.
Although there was only one menorah scheduled for this past Sunday, a second lighting is planned for Monday evening in response to the incidents, according to chabad.org.
“We’re celebrating our religious freedom,” Rabbi Ben Tzion Krasnianski, executive director of Chabad Lubavitch of the Upper East Side said. “We want to show the world that the Jewish response to hate is to fight darkness by increasing in light and joy. What happened last night will only unite us, strengthen us and encourage us to do even more.”