Two Staten Island yeshivas were vandalized with messages of hate overnight on Harold Street.READ MORE: Gabby Petito's Family Speaks Publicly For 1st Time Since Her Body Was Found: 'We Can't Let Her Name Be Taken In Vain'
The words “Synagogue of Satan” were painted on one of the yeshivas, and the acronym “SOS” on another yeshiva across the street.
“I’m very upset,” 15-year-old student Eli Gross said.
Rabbi Moshe Katzman runs the Chabad of Staten Island next door and said the mainly Hasidic community was ready to rally together if the recent string of hateful incidents in the city made it to their doorstep.
“I was waiting for something to happen because of the atmosphere that’s going on in America,” he told CBS2’s Tara Jakeway. “The antisemitism is just going on a rampage out there, and no one is taking a stand.”
Shmira of Staten Island, a Jewish volunteer safety patrol, shared a surveillance video that captured the moment the vandal struck in the Manor Heights neighborhood late Wednesday night.READ MORE: Caught On Video: Police Say Man Suspected Of Robbing 7 Unsuspecting Seniors In The Bronx
“I want these people to become better people, I want them to become better citizens. I don’t need them punished as long as they behave properly,” said Moshe.
“Don’t do it ever again,” Gross added.
A group of Wagner College students on the way to class on Friday reflected on what the yeshiva students had to face on the way to theirs.
“It’s just annoying to see people’s ways of religion just being vandalized and not being respected,” said Sebastian Jondecker.
Students told Jakeway they’re exercising more caution on their walks to and from school.MORE NEWS: New York City Teachers, Staff Face New Vaccine Deadline, But Some Look To Push Legal Battle To Supreme Court
The NYPD says anti-Semitic hate crimes in the city were up 82 percent over the first four months of 2019, compared to the same period last year.