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.

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“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.

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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.

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