Anti-Semitic Message at Jewish Children’s Museum Probed as Hate Crime

The Jewish Voice – The Brooklyn Jewish Children’s Museum found a hateful message lying in wait.  On Thursday night, at 8 P.M., an anti-Semitic threatening note was found at the Crown Heights museum, on a billboard display intended for visitors to leave positive messages.  As reported by the NY Post, a green post-it note with “Hitler is Coming” scribbled on it, was found on the billboard entitled “Transform the World”. Visitors alerted the police of the vile note, who in turn notified the hate-crime task force. Police are currently investigating the incident as a hate crime.

Chabad Rabbi Mordechai Lightstone, who is the social media editor at Chabad.org and the creator of exceptional experiences for Jews in tech and digital media, took to Twitter after seeing the hateful message. “This is just awful,” Rabbi Lightstone tweeted. “An interactive sign in front of the Jewish Children’s Museum in Crown Heights asking people how they would transform the world was defaced with Antisemitic graffiti!”

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo lost no time responding to the attack. He ordered the New York State police to aid the NYPD in the investigation. “I am disgusted by the anti-Semitic message scrawled in front of the Jewish Children’s Museum in Crown Heights, Brooklyn,” Cuomo wrote on his website. “We have zero tolerance for anti-Semitism, discrimination or hate of any kind in New York, and no person should ever feel threatened because of their religious beliefs… In the wake of a rise in anti-Semitic and other hate crimes in our nation, it is more important than ever that we stand united to condemn these despicable acts of violence and root out hate in all its forms.” said Cuomo in a statement.

The Jewish Children’s Museum, opened in 2004, is the largest Jewish-themed children’s museum in the United States. Located on Brooklyn’s Museum Row, at the corner of Eastern Parkway and Kingston Avenue, it is a place “for children of all faiths and backgrounds to gain a positive perspective and awareness of the Jewish heritage, fostering tolerance and understanding”. Designed primarily for elementary school-age children and their families, the –floor museum uses technology and a hands-on approach to inspire increased interest in Jewish culture.

The museum was originally founded as a dedication to 16-year-old Ari Halberstam, who was fatally shot in the head in 1994, by a Lebanese terrorist, while in a car driving across the Brooklyn Bridge. This Post-it note is the third attack to date on the museum, as per Yahoo! Lifestyle News. “This act is the antithesis of what we stand for,” said Ari’s mother, Devorah Halberstam, who co-founded the Brooklyn Jewish Children’s Museum. “The perpetrator ran away because he knows what he did was deplorable…there’s nothing more vile than attacking an institution for children.”