January 18, 2019

Brooklyn Jewish Man Assaulted By Anti-Semitic Attacker

An Orthodox Jewish man was assaulted by an anti-Semitic attacker as he was walking home from synagogue in Brooklyn on the afternoon of April 21.

The victim, identified as 52-year-old Menachem Moskowitz, told a local CBS affiliate that during his walk he simply said “Good afternoon” to a stranger who was smoking a cigar. The stranger menacingly replied, “You fake Jews, who are you saying hello to? You’re fake Jews and you stole all my money and robbed me, and stole my mortgage and my house. I want to kill you!’” The man jumped Moskowitz, pushing him into an iron fence and began choking him.

“He put me in a headlock and I’m trying to maneuver out of him,” Moskowitz said. “In the meantime, I’m screaming ‘Help! Help! Help! Help!’ He says, ‘You don’t need help. I’m going to kill you right here.’”

Moskowitz was saved by two nurses, a male and a female, who separated the assailant from Moskowitz and told him to flee. Moskowitz escaped, but so did the assailant. Moskowitz suffered from a crack rib, a black eye and numerous bruises in the attack.

It was the second attack on a Jewish man in Brooklyn in a week, as on April 14 an orthodox Jewish man was attacked by a group of black men and women in Crown Heights. The assailants have not yet been found.

Both incidents are being investigated as possible hate crimes. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) is offering $5,000 rewards for information on the assailants.

“We unequivocally condemn these senseless assaults,” Evan Bernstein, ADL New York Regional Director, said in a statement. “We appreciate the leadership of the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force who are investigating these assaults as hate crimes. Hopefully these rewards will encourage anyone who may have seen something to come forward.”

Bernstein added, “It is crucial the Crown Heights community stands together in the wake of these vicious attacks,” Bernstein continued, “as the NYPD conducts thorough investigations.”

New York Democrat Assemblyman Dov Hikind announced that a Los Angeles philanthropist will offer a $50,000 reward for information on Moskowitz’s attacker.

“Will Brooklyn become like Paris now?” Hikind said. “Will we start seeing people attacked with racial slurs on a regular basis? Do Jews here really have to fear for their lives from criminal thugs? We need a strong and immediate response to these hate crimes, and I won’t rest while this continues!”

There has been an increased police presence in the neighborhood since the attacks, but Moskowitz’s family still doesn’t feel safe.

“There’s a lot of fear,” Moskowitz’s wife, Channah Moskowitz, told the CBS affiliate. “The thing we know is that, unfortunately, there are people out there who want to kill us for one reason — because we are a Jew.”