Holding Antisemites Accountable.

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Shopping Center in New York Vandalized with Antisemitic Graffiti

The Scarsdale community was shocked by antisemitic graffiti sprayed on the windows of two stores in the Golden Horseshoe Shopping Center around 4 am on January 25, 2024. The Shopping Center sits on the border between Scarsdale and New Rochelle on Wilmot Road and is across the street from the JCC of Mid-Westchester. One of the tenants is a kosher grocery store. The incident was recorded on the shopping center’s video cameras and took place at 4 am.

Suspects used black spray paint to paint the words “Genocide Supporters” on the windows of the Scarsdale Scoop Shop and Cheryl’s Closet. Both stores had signs that read “We Stand with Israel” in their windows. The word “supporters” was misspelled. A video of the incident was posted on the social media site X. You can see it here:

The images were shared quickly across social media.

Westchester District Attorney Miriam E. Rocah And New Rochelle Police Commissioner Robert Gazzola issued the following statement: “The New Rochelle Police Department and the District Attorney’s Office are investigating reports of antisemitic graffiti found on storefronts at the Golden Horseshoe shopping center in New Rochelle this morning. We understand the unsettling atmosphere of fear across all impacted communities and the safety of our residents and businesses remains a top priority for law enforcement. We have zero tolerance for hatred and bias in Westchester and we will use the full force of the law to hold perpetrators accountable and keep our communities safe.”

An ice cream meet-up and demonstrations was scheduled for 4 pm on January 25 to show support for the Jewish community.

Rabbi Jonathan Blake of Westchester Reform Temple in Scarsdale had this to say: “Today, we should be celebrating Tu B’Shvat, a joyous holiday marking new beginnings in the natural world. Instead, it is with anger and sadness that we once again confront hateful speech attacking Israel and the Jewish people. As many in our community are likely already aware, last night, shops in the Golden Horseshoe were vandalized with antisemitic slurs. We condemn this hate crime perpetrated against our local businesses and our entire community.

As we stand in solidarity with our congregation, our Scarsdale/New Rochelle community, and our brothers and sisters in Israel, we want to share with you multiple opportunities to find comfort and strength in community through prayer, learning, and action.

Today at 4:00 pm, the Scoop Shop, one of the vandalized stores, will be hosting an ice cream meet-up to demonstrate that hate has no home in Westchester. Bring your children and your Israeli flags. County Executive George Latimer, as well as members of our WRT clergy, will be present.”

Cantor Chanin Rosen from Scarsdale Synagogue said, “We just learned that several business in the Golden Horseshoe across from the JCC of Mid-Westchester were vandalized overnight. We are horrified and heartbroken that antisemitism and anti-Zionism have reared their ugly heads so close to home. Incidents like this one raise anxiety about being Jewish in our world today.”

The Property Manager for the shopping center said, “Last night a hate crime was perpetrated at the Golden Horseshoe Shopping Center. Antisemitic messages were spray painted on two store fronts. We are working with the local police department to address the crime. Due to this incident, we are providing security in our center to ensure the safety of our customers, employees and store owners. Hate has no place in the Golden Horseshoe.”

And a local resident said, “I am horrified to realize that such blatant antisemitism exists in our midst. I hope the perpetrators will be found and held accountable.”

Scarsdale Mayor Justin Arest released this statement at 12:45 pm on Thursday: As Mayor of Scarsdale, I unequivocally condemn the recent acts of antisemitism and the deplorable vandalism at the Golden Horseshoe Shopping Center. These actions, though they technically occurred over the border in New Rochelle, have cast a shadow over our community, raising concerns and fears among our residents. Such behavior is not only unacceptable, it also goes against the core values of our community. We, in Scarsdale, stand together in denouncing these acts of hate and intolerance.

This incident transcends mere property damage. It’s a grave reminder of the persistent issue of antisemitism rearing its head anew in our society. The vandalism is not just an act of defiance but a reflection of a dangerous trend of hate and misinformation, and a reminder of past dark times. We must be forthright in confronting and challenging these acts and the false narratives that accompany them. In this context, it’s critical to remember and acknowledge that Hamas alone had expressed intentions of genocide in this conflict. This fact should not be overlooked or forgotten in our discourse and actions.

Recognizing the broader picture of hate and misinformation, it is essential for us to combat all forms of prejudice and bigotry. Our community must remain vigilant against any and all sources of hatred. We must continue to promote peace, understanding, and respect for everyone, irrespective of their background. And as always, should you see anything suspicious, please report it to the police.

In light of this event, I have been in touch Mayor Ramos-Herbert of New Rochelle and plan to join her at the Golden Horseshoe this afternoon at 4pm along with other concerned residents. Our united front will be a powerful symbol against antisemitism and a testament to our commitment to creating a safe, respectful, and inclusive environment for all our citizens. Let’s work together to eradicate hatred and foster a community where diversity and tolerance are not just accepted but celebrated.

I must also thank our partners in other levels of government, George Latimer, Shelley Mayer, Amy Paulin, and Judah Holstein for reaching out this morning and sharing their support. County Executive Latimer shared the following, “Such hatred as expressed in this act cannot be tolerated in Westchester County. We will work with law enforcement to address this manifestation of hate.”

State Senator Mayer added, “I am deeply disturbed by the overt acts of antisemitism and vandalism at the Golden Horseshoe. It’s absolutely unacceptable and I am hopeful law enforcement quickly apprehends those responsible and they are held accountable. This act is not reflective of the community we call home. But we will not be silent when these acts occur. These acts clearly targeted our large and
vibrant Jewish communities in New Rochelle and Scarsdale. I stand fully united with them and we will not be intimidated by acts of violence such as these.”

Assembly Member Paulin expressed, “The hateful act of antisemitism found today at the Golden Horseshoe Shopping Center is reprehensible and will not be tolerated. Our community is still reeling from the Oct. 7 terrorist attack, and still suffering from the knowledge that more than 100 hostages are still being held captive. That struggle has been compounded by an incessant rise in antisemitism everywhere – in our institutions of higher learning, at children’s sport games, and now this. Make no mistake, antisemitic acts such as this are a threat to our entire community, and to Jews everywhere. Racists know no boundaries. That being said, we cannot be intimidated by this hateful vandalism. We need an immediate investigation including a thorough review of the video in the area. We cannot allow acts such as this to be normalized, and I will never, ever, waiver on standing up to acts of antisemitism or hate of any kind in our community.”

County Legislator Holstein remarked, “I am horrified to see Jewish-owned businesses in my own neighborhood vandalized in a manner that evokes the darkest chapters of history. It evokes memories of the stories my grandmother told of stores marked with Jewish stars in 1930s Poland. It’s shocking that some in our community justify this by conflating antisemitism with criticism of Israel’s policies. This attack achieves nothing except spreading fear, division, and hate. As a lifelong member of this diverse community, I condemn this blatant act of hate and call on the community to work towards a future where such intolerance has no place. We must stand together and protect the values that make Westchester special. I stand with each of you and as your County Legislator am here to serve as a resource in whatever way I can. Please reach out to my office if I can support you.”