Brooklyn, NY – Several months after the hotly contested Crown Heights eruv was repeatedly damaged by vandalism the NYPD has announced that two local residents have been arrested.
As previously reported on VIN News (http://bit.ly/2eVP5nW), the Crown Heights eruv has been the subject of heated debate, with supporters insisting that it is a vital asset to the community and permissible under Jewish law and opponents insisting that the Lubavitcher Rebbe had never allowed an eruv to be built in Crown Heights.
The eruv was damaged in numerous places from mid June through mid July, with the NYPD actively investigating the vandalism as a hate crime.
Police said that 36 year old Yosef Kratz of Crown Heights was arrested at 10:50 AM Wednesday and 21 year old Yosef Doran, also of Crown Heights, was arrested at 9:30 this morning. Both were charged with criminal mischief as a hate crime and criminal tampering and were issued desk appearance tickets.
Attorney George Farkas who represents Kratz said that the district attorney’s office dropped the hate crime charges against his client, reducing the charges to misdemeanors, according to DNA Info. It is unknown if the hate crime charges against Doran were also dropped.
The Crown Heights eruv, one of five overlapping eruvim in the area, is maintained by the Kol Israel synagogue, a diverse congregation whose members range from Chasidic to Modern Orthodox. Synagogue trustee Naftali Hanau said that he has no interest in seeing any of the perpetrators jailed.
“In my book, pay for the repairs and apologize and we’re good,” said Hanau.
Hanau estimated the total repair costs to the eruv at $11,000.