The New York City Police Department’s Hate Crime Task Force is investigating a violent anti-Semitic attack on a rabbi in Brooklyn, N.Y. on May 6 that resulted in the victim being hospitalized.
Rabbi Yehoshua Lefkowitz, 32, was in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, home of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement, last Friday when he was approached by an unknown suspect who punched him in the head and kicked him in the legs. According to Newsweek, the assailant also said to Lefkowitz: “The Nazis should have killed you Jews.”
Crown Heights Hatzalah transported Lefkowitz to a nearby hospital.
The NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force has shared images of the assailant on social media, hoping the public can help identify him. The suspect, who ran from the scene, wore a black jacket, gray-hooded sweatshirt, black pants and black sneakers.
@NYPDHateCrimes is seeking the public's assistance to identify the below individual in connection with an anti-Jewish assault near President St and Utica Ave in Brooklyn. @NYPDTips pic.twitter.com/EtYoufhwfb
— NYPD Hate Crimes (@NYPDHateCrimes) May 8, 2022
Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) condemned the attack, calling it “the latest in a disturbing and unacceptable trend of anti-Jewish hate and violence that is spreading throughout our communities, nation and the world.”
A rabbinic intern at the Great Neck Synagogue on Long Island, Lefkowitz had been expected to arrive there for Shabbat.
“Instead of observing Shabbat at Great Neck Synagogue, Rabbi Lefkowitz was sent to the hospital beaten and bruised,” said Zeldin. “Practicing the Jewish faith should not be a life-threatening endeavor anywhere in the world, but especially not in the United States, where we cherish religious freedom.”
The Anti-Defamation League announced on Tuesday that it will offer a reward of up to $5,000 leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect.
They are also offering a reward leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect who knocked a streimel off a Chasidic man’s head on Saturday in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. The man was walking with two young children at the time of the attack.
“We are outraged to learn of multiple assaults of visibly Orthodox Jews,” said Scott Richman, ADL NY/NJ regional director. “It is terrorizing communities, and all must speak out. Nobody should be afraid to display their religion in public. Both attacks took place in broad daylight, and we hope that witnesses will come forward with information.”