The Anti-Defamation League is offering $5,000 rewards for information leading to the conviction of suspects in two separate vicious attacks against Orthodox Jews in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn in the space of a week.
The latest attack occurred on Saturday, when a 50-year-old Jewish man was beaten and choked in broad daylight shortly after leaving Shabbat morning prayers at the synagogue in the Kingsbrook Jewish Hospital.
The victim, Menachem Moskowitz, gave a detailed account of the attack by a man described described as “tall and muscular and in his 40s” in an interview with website crownheights.info.
“As I was walking home I passed a man smoking a cigar on the corner of Rutland and Schenectady and I said ‘good afternoon’ to him,” Moskowitz said, explaining that “it’s a nice neighborhood and everyone is close.”
“As soon as [I greeted] him he began yelling at me ‘you fake Jews, who are you saying hello to? You’re fake Jews and you stole all my money and robbed me, and stole my mortgage and my house. I want to kill you!’” Moskowitz recalled. “I thought the man was just crazy so I started walking away, and he shouted ‘you don’t walk away from me’ and started chasing after me.”
Moskowitz said the man caught up with him and placed him in a chokehold, punching and kicking him at the same time. “I started to feel dizzy, I felt my air going out, I started saying Shema, I thought I was going to die,” he remembered. Passersby then intervened, enabling the terrified Moskowitz to run home. He was later admitted to a hospital with a cracked rib and swelling, bruising and scratches all over his body.
Saturday’s shocking attack followed the brutal assault on a Jewish man the previous week by a group comprised of three black men and two black women. The attack took place in the early hours of Apr. 14, as the victim walked home with a Jewish friend along Eastern Parkway. As they passed the group, one of the men asked the victim if he wanted to fight. He then began kicking and punching the victim as the other members of the group joined the frenzied assault. The assailants then fled in the direction of New York Avenue, leaving the victim lying bloodied on the ground.
Both attacks are being investigated by the New York Police Department’s Hate Crimes Task Force.
Evan R. Bernstein, ADL New York Regional Director, urged the Crown Heights community to “stand together in the wake of these vicious attacks as the NYPD conducts thorough investigations.”
Bernstein said he hoped the $5,000 rewards being offered by the ADL “will encourage anyone who may have seen something to come forward.”
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