Hate speech written on the wall of Chabad of Staten Island was discovered early Thursday morning, SI Live reported.
The words “synagogue of Satan” were visible on the Chabad of Staten Island synagogue, located on Harold Street.
Across the street, the letters “SOS” were written with spray paint on the Yeshiva Zichron Paltiel of Staten Island, referencing the aforementioned phrase, the website reported.
Shliach Rabbi Mendy Katzman believes that the graffiti was written sometime Wednesday night, which is the onset of Lag B’Omer, a holiday which celebrates Jewish unity across the world and is marked by parades, marches and bonfires.
Shliach Rabbi Moshe Katzman said that it is not uncommon to have students at the synagogue at all hours of the night, which led to the discovery.
A spokesman for the NYPD said that police were aware of the incident and were investigating.
As a result of the graffiti, Katzman said that security will have to be increased.
Rabbi Katzman said that the synagogue has “always left a door open.”
“We never thought twice,” he said, “and I can’t do that anymore.”
Incidents of hate speech are not uncommon on Staten Island, and the Advance has reported on multiple instances of anti-Semitic graffiti that was found on the borough over the years.
Most recently, controversy arose when Westerleigh residents began placing signs on their lawn that read “Westerleigh Strong.”
The phrase was made in response to realtors asking Westerleigh homeowners to sell their homes to prospective homeowners from the Boro Park section of Brooklyn, a largely Orthodox Jewish community.
Despite the act and rising tensions present in the area, the Shluchim say they will not be deterred.
“We need to keep doing what we’re doing,” Mendy Katzman told SI Live. “But we’re still going to go out and be prideful and stand strong,” Mendy Katzman said.