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Hate Letter Threatened Wave of NY Synagogue Attacks

A hate letter threatened a wave of New York synagogue bombings on New Year’s Eve. One rabbi said, “Someone wants to spread fear.”


By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 1/2/2011, 3:30 PM / Last Update: 1/2/2011, 7:50 PM

Israel new photo: Obab Zedek website

A hate letter threatened a wave of New York synagogue bombings on New Year’s Eve, including the Upper West Side house of worship, whose spiritual leader, Rabbi Alan Schwartz, told The New York Post, “Someone wants to spread fear.”

His Ohab Zedek synagogue - a religious center for hundreds of New York professionals, many of them singles - received a letter Thursday afternoon, threatening to blow up the house of worship on the eve of the Jewish Sabbath Friday night, which also was the eve of the secular new year.

Police evacuated the synagogue building and combed it for explosives, but found nothing suspicious.

Rabbi Schwartz told the newspaper that the letter was also sent to “10 or 12” synagogues, although police have not confirmed if explicit bomb threats were made in every letter. 

The Post noted that the same day the letter was discovered, New York state officials released annual statistics showing that hate crimes rose by 14 percent, while hate crimes in New York City rose by 6 percent. Seventy incidents were recorded in Manhattan.