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Stanton Street Shul Burglarized; Only Minimal Damage Reported

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If you walked past the Stanton Street Shul yesterday, you might have noticed a police presence. The 7th Precinct was called after the Lower East Side congregation reported a burglary. This morning, the Jewish Press published a letter from Rebecca Honig-Friedman, the board president, about what happened. Here’s what she told the shul community:

Earlier today, when Rabbi [Aviad] Bodner entered the Shul, he discovered that we had been vandalized. Thank God, no one was hurt and the damage could have been much worse. Tallitot, papers and some knick-knacks were strewn about and the lectern had been overturned. More seriously, two of the lamps on the bima (Torah reading stand) corners were pulled off and broken. Nothing was stolen, and the Torahs and ark were not touched. The police came and did a thorough investigation, concluding that this does not appear to have been a hate crime but rather an attempted burglary. Most likely, these were low-level thieves who broke in through the fire escape door expecting to find a collection plate with cash or other valuables that could be easily sold. Not finding anything to steal, they lashed out and threw things around. The police pulled some fingerprints and will see if they can use them to find the perpetrators. The police confirmed there is no reason to think these thieves will return and that no one is in any imminent danger. Nevertheless, we are working with the police to enhance our security and will let you know if and when we have any updates on the situation.

The Stanton Street Shul is located at 180 Stanton Street between Clinton and Attorney streets. The 1913 building is one of the few surviving tenement-style synagogues left on the Lower East Side.

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