Report: The Stanton Street Shul Was Burglarized this Week
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One of the only surviving tenement synagogues on the Lower East Side was burglarized earlier this week. The president of Stanton Street Shul – Rebecca Honig-Friedman – sent an email to its active congregants explaining the scope of the burglary.
No one was injured, but there was some vandalism. Police from the 7th Precinct investigated the scene and determined that the incident was not a “hate crime.” The belief is that burglars gained access through a fire escape door looking for a collection plate of cash or other easily-sold valuables. “Not finding anything to steal, they lashed out and threw things around. The police pulled some fingerprints and will see if they can use them to find the perpetrators,” Honig-Friedman wrote.
Honig-Friedman’s email also noted: “Earlier today Wedneday, when Rabbi [Aviad] Bodner entered the Shul, he discovered that we had been vandalized. Thank God, no one was hurt and the damage could have been much worse. Tallitot, papers and some knick-knacks were strewn about and the lectern had been overturned. More seriously, two of the lamps on the bima (Torah reading stand) corners were pulled off and broken. Nothing was stolen, and the Torahs and ark were not touched.”
The Stanton Street Shul was constructed in 1913 by combining two adjacent tenement buildings. It’s one of only a few active congregations on the Lower East Side, offering weekend services, and was named a “Sacred Site” by New York State in 2012. Its congregants are considered “liberal Orthodox”/”Modern Orthodox.”