Response to Riverdale Vandalism Update


May 6, 2021

Dear Riverdale Community,

We write to share with you both updated information as well as a vision of how we continue to move forward as a community.

The recent antisemitic attacks on four of our Riverdale synagogues continue to leave so many of us shaken, frightened, vulnerable, and unsettled.  We, decry these hateful antisemitic acts. They are intolerable in our Riverdale community and anywhere.

We are grateful for the support of our elected officials at all levels of government and the response of the New York City Police Department, the organized Jewish community, as well as the larger interfaith community.  We are relieved that a suspect has been identified and the judicial process is underway.  The next step is for the case to be presented to a grand jury by the Bronx district attorney. Supervised release is in place until then.

We have heard many voices in response to the supervised release of the suspect and other aspects of the case. We recognize that there are different approaches and perspectives to these legal and justice issues within our diverse community.  We are doing our best to share those voices and raise the concerns we have heard in our conversations with elected officials and community leaders.  We hope we can model healthy and respectful dialogue as a community as we are stronger and safer together.

Without exception, all City and State officials have agreed to remain in close contact with us to keep us informed of each step of the case through the criminal justice system, to respond to our questions, and to seek our assistance if necessary.  The commanding officer of the 50th Precinct has pledged to maintain as visible a presence as his resources allow.

We will continue to advocate for safety and security measures, as individuals and as members of the RJCP. We will continue to communicate with you and keep you informed of the investigatory and legal proceedings as they develop.

Please lean on us, your local clergy and communal leadership, to share your voices and articulate your feelings and needs.  We are here for you.

Deann Forman, The Riverdale Y
Rabba Sara Hurwitz, Yeshivat Maharat
Rabbi Aaron Frank, Kinneret Day School
Rabbi Barry Dov Katz, CSAIR-The Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel of Riverdale
Rabbi Binyamin Krauss, SAR Academy
Rabbi Bob Kaplan, JCRCNY
Rabbi Dina Najman, The Kehilah of Riverdale
Rabbi Dov Lerea, Congregation Beit Aharon
Rabbi Dov Linzer, Yeshivat Chovevei Torah
Rabbi Dovid Zirkind, Riverdale Jewish Center
Rabbi Joseph Robinson, Riverdale Jewish Community Partnership (an initiative of the Riverdale Y)
Rabbi Levi Shemtov, Chabad of Riverdale
Rabbi Linda Shriner-Cahn, Congregation Tehillah
Rabbi Shmuel Hain, YIOZ of North Riverdale/Yonkers
Rabbi Noah Aronin, Hebrew Home at Riverdale
Rabbi Steven Burton, Congregation Shaarei Shalom
Rabbi Thomas Gardner, Riverdale Temple
Rabbi Tully Harcsztark, SAR High School
Rav Mordecai Lissauer – The Shtiebel
Rav Steven Exler, HIR – The Bayit
Sandy Kahn, The Riverdale Minyan