After a man was arrested on Sunday, Oct. 4 for allegedly damaging thousands of dollars of property at the Shore Parkway Jewish Center at 8885 26th Ave., the synagogue is asking that some lend a helping hand in repairs.
Susan Altman, Board of Trustees at Shore Parkway Jewish Center, has set up a GoFundMe page.
“We can’t imagine any other motive, as our synagogue is involved in supporting community events and houses a pre-school for children of all backgrounds,” she stated. “Besides causing massive property damage, the perpetrator caused hurt to many of the older members, who remember a time when anti-semitism was widespread.”
In just two days, the center raised nearly $10,000 from 73 donors. One of them described the importance of the building.
“SPJC has been a part of this neighborhood for [approximately] 50 years,” the donor wrote. “My mother, and many of the women in the area worked tirelessly fundraising (way before GoFundMe) to get the SPJC built. My friends and I all went to Hebrew school and were bar/bat Mitzvahed there.”
According to authorities, 25-year-old Osman Butt grabbed a flagpole and shattered several windows outside the center. He then went inside and damaged more property.
Police charged Butt with burglary as a hate crime and criminal mischief as a hate crime.
Assemblymember William Colton visited the center following the arrest and claimed there was up to $50,000 worth of damages.
“The hate filled person broke into this synagogue in the in-the wee hours of Sunday night, breaking windows, destroying furnishings and religious articles and the large outdoor Sukkah,” he said. “This hateful person was filmed on a surveillance camera taking the Israeli flag and draping it on himself while he used the pole to systematically use the pole to break windows through the place of worship.”