Plainview Jewish Community Hoping Vandals Were Just Young, Dumb Kids

PLAINVIEW, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — The hunt is on for the vandals who destroyed a menorah on Long Island. Police are now investigating what could be a possible hate crime.

Burton Radish said he couldn’t believe what he found on his front lawn on Tuesday morning.

“There I saw it on the curb, smashed to smithereens,” Radish told CBS 2’s Cat Andersen.

Radish was referring to what was left of a menorah that stood approximately 5 feet tall and 5 feet wide.

“I said ‘my God, who would do this?’ What kind of person would walk up on my lawn, pick the thing up, disconnect the cord, take it out to the curb and smash it down? Why? What would be behind it?” Radish said.

It’s a stinging pain he’s feeling.

“It had a lot of meaning. It was a gift for my wife who just passed away,” Radish said.

The menorah was built with solid materials — PVC pipe put together with glue, cement and screws. Whoever destroyed it had to have use a lot of force.

“That’s what the police officer said, that they must’ve been in a rage to pick that thing up and really smash it down that way, and it had to be done more than once. Three or four times,” Radish said.

Radish said he’s put up the menorah every year for at least a decade and he can’t understand who would want to destroy it now.

“It could be some teenage kids who said ‘oh boy, look at that. Let’s smash it.’ Or it was someone with a more sinister motive,” he said.

Manetto Hill Jewish Center Rabbi David Senter said for the community’s sake he hopes it was the former.

“It’s my prayer that this was just some kids who maybe indulged too much in alcohol and did something stupid, rather than someone who is attacking one of the basic freedoms of this country,” Rabbi Senter said.

Radish said he will put up a new one next Hanukkah and in the meantime, he’ll be flying the U.S. flag right outside his door.

Police said they don’t have any suspects at this time. They’re asking anyone with information to call CrimeStoppers at 1-800-244-TIPS.

Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.

Comments (8)
  1. plainview says:

    what punishment can be handed out when the cops have no lead and or witnesses ..the truth is the vandal(s) were most likely teenagers doing stupid stuff.They most likely saw this story and instantly regretted it

    1. Plainview says:

      I hope they regretted their acts and they do some soul searching – realizing that what they may have perceived as a ‘prank’ can have a greater impact than they expected. With this act following so closely after the loss of his wife, the hanukkiah having been a gift to her, I’m sure that it was more hurtful than the ‘pranksters’ (if that is what they were) could have anticipated. If they do regret their actions and learn from this, maybe they will go on to do great things for others.

  2. Meme Meyagi says:

    what is done about 7 million mooslime terrorists living in usa?

  3. Plainview says:

    Burt – be strong. No matter what the vandal(s) did to the material structure of the hanukiah, your strength comes from within and your memories will always be with you. The vandal(s) must be punished for this hate crime, but we should also take pity on them for their misguided values. I hope they can be taught to respect others of all nationalities and religions.

  4. sharon says:

    sad and painful to hear.

  5. realitycheck says:

    And at a time when the Prince of Peace was born. Then again, nazis were never true Christians

  6. Larry Schwarz says:

    It really does not matter if they were a few punks,or neo nazis.It is despicable and should be treated as a hate crime.If it were kids their sentence should be community service in an old age Jewish home.Forced to watch films like Schindlers list under the supervision of A Rabbi.Except for School not allowed out unless with a parent.I also agree with drivers license suspension,and financial restitution.While a Judge or Prosecutor may not be able to force a sentence like this they can certainly give them the option of this or jail.I like the idea of a drill instructor enforcing their sentence and reporting back to The Judge.

  7. thor's hammer says:

    hope the punks who did this get arrested soon. their sentence should be nothing less than 1,000 hours of manual labor community service, overseen by a retired marine corps drill instructor. idiots! don’t try your jive of “we were bored” or whatever other nonsense you think might have us shed a tear. oh yeah, besides community service, your learner’s permits/licenses should be pulled for a year. those are privileges, NOT rights punks. if a drill instructor can’t be found to supervise your community service, i’ll be glad to volunteer.

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