The Jewish Federation of Greater Orange County strongly condemns the desecration of a Jewish cemetery that took place on October 9, 2016 at the Temple Beth Shalom cemetary in the Town of Warwick, New York. We support Temple Beth Shalom and the local authorities to label this a hate crime and to apprehend and prosecute the perpetrators to the full extent of the law. There is a $10,000 reward for information leading to a conviction in this case. To report a tip, contact the Warwick Police Department at 845-986-5000.
The spray-painting of swastikas at this local cemetery sends a message of hate which reverberates throughout our community. Anti-Semitic incidents such as this have only one goal: to intimidate and instill fear. The image of a swastika is particularly troubling at this time when Jews across the globe are set to gather for the solemn day of Yom Kippur - Day of Atonement - and feeling especially vulnerable in the wake of recent terrorist attacks abroad.
We urge public figures and community leaders across Orange County to condemn this incident in the strongest of terms, and make clear that anti-Semitism and other acts of hate are unacceptable.
We encourage the entire Orange County population to stand with us in solidarity against this act of anti-semitic hatred and violence, by gathering this Sunday, October 16th at the cemetery, which is at the intersection of Spanktown Road and Union Corners Road in Florida at 11:30am. This will be a morning of prayer and solidarity continuing at Temple Beth Shalom, 13 Roosevelt Avenue, Florida, afterwards.
Leslie Green, M.D.
President, Jewish Federation of Greater Orange County, N.Y.