Warwick, NY – Nearly seven months to the day after an upstate Jewish cemetery was defaced with anti-Semitic graffiti, the New York State Police are turning to the public for help in apprehending those responsible for the act of hatred.
Police said that vandals targeted the Beth Shalom cemetery in the Orange county town of Warwick, painting swastikas, SS lightning bolts and the words “Heil Hitler” in black paint on a brick wall at the entrance to the cemetery on October 8th. Within days, the Jewish Federation of Greater Orange County announced a $10,000 reward for information leading to the conviction in the case, noting in a Facebook post that the act was a deliberate attempt “to intimidate and instill fear.”
Hundreds of men, women and children of all faiths flocked to the cemetery to paint over the graffiti on Erev Succos, as reported by News 12 (http://bit.ly/2p5uZQv). Flowers left behind by those who came to eradicate the graffiti bore the words “Love conquers all.”
Evan Bernstein, regional director of the Anti Defamation League’s New York office said that both the timing and the location of the incident were very disturbing.
“Violating such a sacred space with symbols of anti-Semitism and hate is deeply painful and offensive to the entire community,” said Bernstein. “The fact that it was carried out just before Yom Kippur, the most solemn day of the Jewish calendar, only serves to compound the horrible and offensive nature of this act.”
Both the Town of Warwick Police and the New York State Police at Monroe have been investigating the incident as a hate crime, and even months later, a State Police spokesperson said that the case is a high priority.
“We want people to realize that this is something that will be brought up again and again,” the spokesperson told VIN News. “This isn’t something that is going to go away. Whoever did this needs to know that this is a very serious thing.”
Anyone with any information regarding the case is asked to contact the Town of Warwick Police at 845-986-3423 or the State Police at 845-782-8497.