2 incidents of vandalism at New Rochelle businesses being investigated as possible hate crimes
Community rallies after two Jewish-owned stores tagged with antisemitic graffiti in New Rochelle .
Two Jewish store owners were shocked when they went to open their businesses Thursday morning.
There they found, spray-painted across the front windows, the words "genocide supporters."
Both stores were displaying "We stand with Israel" signs, and now the New Rochelle Police Department is investigating the incident as a possible hate crime.
Cheryl's Closet and Scoop Shop, in the Golden Horseshoe Shopping Center, along the border of New Rochelle and Scarsdale, were the two targeted stores. Those two communities are home to some of Westchester County's largest Jewish populations.
All day, hundreds of people showed up to support the affected businesses. The line out of Scoop Shop, a neighborhood ice cream spot, wrapped down the block.
Co-owner Adam Deutsch thanked the community for their support and said he would not be intimidated.
"We're not going anywhere. We stand with Israel and we're proud. We're proud to be Jewish," he said.
The incident, which was captured on surveillance video, sparked fear and anger in the local community. It also launched a massive outpouring of support in solidarity against hate.
"This is my home, and it feels like it's been almost invaded in a way that I've never felt in my entire life," New Rochelle teen Ariella Fishman said.
"I am proud that we are standing up and we are speaking out and we are not going to take this lying down," another attendee at the rally, Joan Goodman said.
In a joint statement, the New Rochelle Police and Westchester District Attorney's Office said, “We understand the unsettling atmosphere of fear across all impacted communities and the safety of our residents and businesses remains a top priority for law enforcement. We have zero tolerance for hatred and bias in Westchester and we will use the full force of the law to hold perpetrators accountable and keep our communities safe.”
A City of New Rochelle spokesperson released the following statement: "We are deeply saddened and disturbed by the recent acts of antisemitism targeting two of our city's storefronts. New Rochelle is built on the values of diversity, inclusion, and mutual respect. Hate crimes like the vandalization of Cheryl’s Closet and Scoop Shop have no place in our community and we vehemently condemn this behavior. We stand by our Jewish citizens and will not tolerate these types of attacks. Upon the discovery and reporting of these incidents by the New Rochelle Police Department, we have swiftly taken action. The City of New Rochelle and its police department are working in collaboration with law enforcement agencies, including the Westchester County District Attorney, and the Scarsdale Police Department. Our commitment to supporting their efforts in investigating this incident remains steadfast. Property security inspections for local businesses and synagogues have been conducted and are underway. We plan to monitor the situation closely and inform all residents of any updates.”