11 mezuzot were burned in Brooklyn on Monday, as Jews around the world marked Yom Hashoah, the Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Police said the mezuzot were burned in an apartment building in South Williamsburg.
The NYPD told WCBS the vandalism had not been confirmed as a bias-motivated incident, and was under investigation as property damage.
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, however, said that he believes the burning of the mezuzot was a hate crime.
“Nothing but hatred can explain why someone would burn mezuzahs on Yom Hashoah, the day we remember the six million Jews killed during the Holocaust,” he said in a statement quoted by WCBS.
“This is a sickening act of prejudice that strikes at the very core of who we are as a city.”
De Blasio added, “Make no mistake: we will find those responsible.” He urged anyone with information about the incident to call the NYPD Crime Stoppers.
Last October, a swastika was found painted in the elevator of a building in South Williamsburg. The NYPD’s hate crime unit investigated the incident.
Earlier the same month, during the Jewish holidays in the month of Tishrei, a Brooklyn subway station became the venue for the latest bit of Nazi graffiti.
Scrawled in capital letters in red marker on two newly-painted support pillars, in both north and south platforms, were the words:
“THE WORLD WOULD BE MUCH BETTER OFF IF ALL THE JEWS WERE LAMPSHADES”
A second comment, “HitlER (sic) WAS RIGHT RE THE JEWS,” was scrawled on another pillar at the same station.