At least three businesses in downtown Ithaca were vandalized with antisemitic and racist graffiti and posters over the weekend, following a similar incident last week that included the defacement of a sign outside a local chiropractor’s office.
Moosewood Restaurant and Sunny Days of Ithaca both encountered vandalism that apparently occurred Saturday night: Moosewood’s Black Lives Matter sign was blocked by a poster glued to the outside of the restaurant’s window which contained barely coherent rantings seemingly aimed at mocking and vilifying Jewish and Black people and designed to look like the front page of the Ithaca Voice, including a picture of Voice founder Jeff Stein, a Jewish man. Meanwhile, anti-Semitic posters were hung on Sunny Days’ front door along with threatening graffiti all over the store’s windows.
Additionally, Court Street Chiropractic was vandalized for a second time in as many weeks, as its “End White Silence” sign was cut down and stolen from where it hung outside of the office. Last week, the same sign was defaced with an antisemitic slur before being repainted.
In addition to having posters attached to its front door, Sunny Days, a local gift shop on the Commons, also saw its windows spray-painted on Sunday night with what appear to be crosshairs, such as would be found in the sights of a gun, or some kind of Celtic cross symbol (which is used by white supremacists, though as some readers have pointed out, other Celtic crosses are perfectly harmless and not associated with white supremacy). Social media posts show a house of students at Cornell University awoke Monday to find similar graffiti on their trash cans near campus.
Though this was the most recent act against Sunny Days, the store has been vandalized in similar ways over the last several weeks. A series of “Hate Has No Home Here” signs that the owners had displayed outside their storefront have been burned.
The owners of Sunny Days, Todd and Deirdre Kurzweil, and Court Street Chiropractic, Patti Jacobson, are all Jewish. It’s unclear if any of Moosewood’s ownership has Jewish connections, though the restaurant prominently displays Black Lives Matter messages in its windows. Kurzweil said she had reported the latest incident of vandalism to the Ithaca Police Department, and Jacobson said she intended to do the same Monday.