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November 30, 2021 4:15 pm

New York Lawmakers Condemn ‘Repugnant’ Menorah Vandalism at Queens Site of 2014 Incident

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Illustrative: the Hollis Hills, Queens public menorah display vandalized in December, 2014. Photo: NY City Council

New York local lawmakers and religious leaders gathered Tuesday to denounce the reported vandalism of a public menorah at the same location of a similar incident in 2014.

The large menorah — located on a traffic island in the Hollis Hills neighborhood of Queens — was knocked into the road and had most of its lights broken, New York State Assemblyman David Weprin’s office said Tuesday.

It was the same location where in December 2014, a public menorah display was twice toppled by vandals, ahead of and during the Hanukkah holiday.

Rabbi Yerachmiel Zalmanov of Chabad of Eastern Queens, which sponsors the display, reported the incident to the NYPD, Weprin’s office said. Both joined Tuesday’s community gathering with State Senator John Liu, City Council Member Barry Grodenchik, and rabbis David Wise, Gary Greene, and Mayer Waxman.

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“Hanukkah is a time of peace and joy. No acts of vandalism or antisemitism will ever be tolerated,” said Assemblyman David Weprin. “Each incident is dehumanizing and a repugnant stain on our community. We are watching. The hard-working members of law enforcement are watching. And this community — where we always have each other’s backs — is watching.”

“Barely a week has passed since our community came together to condemn an act of antisemitism at Bagels & Co., and today, we are compelled to once again gather in defiance of yet another act of intolerance,” Liu said, referring to the violent threats issued recently over Israeli flags hung outside a local kosher bagel store.

“That this vandalism occurred as New Yorkers celebrated the first night of Hanukkah stings all the more, but our community will never waiver in our determination to fight back against hatred and division in any form,” Liu said.

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