WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – A prayer vigil will be held today at a Holocaust memorial in Westchester County that was vandalized with hateful messages on the eve of Yom Kippur.

Westchester County Executive George Latimer said anti-Semitic stickers and posters were discovered Tuesday at the Garden of Remembrance in White Plains.

“Very clear, very graphic and very insulting. It was meant to shock, it wasn’t something subtle,” Latimer told CBS2. “For this to be the site of an act of hatred is particularly heinous, and for it to happen on the day which is the most solemn day on the Jewish calendar is really a statement being made by the person who did this.”

Gov. Andrew Cuomo also condemned the act of hate in a statement of his own:

“I am disgusted by the desecration of a Holocaust memorial in White Plains on the eve of Yom Kippur, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar.

“More than 74 years ago the entire world reeled in shock, horror and sorrow over the senseless murder of more than six million Jews — mothers, fathers, children, grandparents, uncles, aunts, friends and neighbors. Vandalizing a memorial lovingly built in their honor is a revolting and cowardly act, and I have directed the State Police Hate Crimes Task Force to offer assistance to local authorities investigating this heinous act to ensure those responsible are held accountable.

“On this day of atonement, I join with New York’s Jewish community in remembrance of the lives lost and I pray for love, peace and understanding. Hate has no place in this state.”

The memorial was built in 1990 by the Holocaust and Human Rights Education Center and can be found outside the Michaelian Office Building on Martine Avenue.

“Antisemitism is rising in Westchester County, New York State, the county and in the world, and I am very upset to be here today about this,” said Executive Director Millie Jasper.

Latimer said police were stepping up patrols and reviewing surveillance cameras in the area.

Today’s prayer vigil is planned for 12 p.m., and people of all faiths are welcome to attend.


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