Two swastikas carved into doors at the Fourth Universalist Society. Via Gothamist.

Two swastikas were carved into the doors of the Fourth Universalist Society on Central Park West and 76th Street on Monday night. The words “race office” — a term used in Nazi Germany for an office that promoted the Aryan race and stoked anti-Semitism — were also carved into the door. The church has been a leader in progressive causes, has said it will be a sanctuary for undocumented immigrants. It also has several Jewish members, including a Holocaust survivor.

Reverend Schuyler Vogel, the church’s senior minister, left a message on the church’s Facebook site. It reads in part:

We don’t know who is responsible for the vandalism. We don’t know whether they were responding to our new status as a sanctuary congregation, or to our Black Lives Matter banner, or simply to the increasing tide of bigotry and divisiveness in our country.

We do know where we stand though. Our congregation has long been a refuge and a voice against hatred and close-mindedness. Such horrid actions must only strengthen our resolve regarding the need for a powerful, love-filled and prophetic voice of Unitarian Universalism. The real work of justice is not going to be easy. But I am proud to be part of a congregation committed to the task.

It is also important to acknowledge that for many of us, this action is not only disturbing, but also deeply painful and triggering. Please know that Fourth Universalist is with you. You are safe here. We will not waver.

Anti-Semitic bias crimes are up 94% in the city this year, according to NYPD.

NEWS | 18 comments | permalink
    1. UWSHebrew says:

      Cowardly vandals. I hope there is CCTV footage to be found.

    2. Jennifer says:

      This breaks my heart. I grew up in a NYC suburb in the 80s and never encountered any anti-semitism. My husband grew up in Dutchess county and saw it frequently growing up. I was so surprised and thought that NY was so liberal and anti-semitism and racism only occurred in places like the south.

      The amount of hatred that I’ve seen in recent months, and huge increase in recent days (JCC bomb threats and cemetery vandalism, shooting of Indian men in the mid-west) is frightening and sad. I truly fear for all minorities.

      • Carol says:

        That is the myth – that racism or any sort of bias, prejudice, or ill treatment toward any people exists only in particular areas or geographies or toward only certain “groups” or “parties”. It’s universal.

    3. Mark says:

      Terrible when these things happen.
      But according to Trump, it’s the Dems that are doing these things, right?

    4. Sherman says:

      Any type of vandalism – especially racist and anti-Semitic vandalism – is deplorable.

      But this is likely some deranged person or some stupid kid. This is hardly indicative of an epidemic of hatred or an “increasing tide of bigotry” in the country.

      • Another Mark says:

        Sherman, I think this deplorable action is in fact an example of the ‘rising tide of bigotry’ in our country. While it may have been done by a deranged or ignorant person, the social climate and political rhetoric have helped enable that person’s action. The Southern Poverty Law Center, https://www.splcenter.org/, has much research demonstrating an upsurge in hate-related acts.

        • Sherman says:

          You’re probably right. There is a rising tide of hatred in this country.

          I would include BLM crowd and the BDS movement against Israel as examples of this upsurge in hatred.

          I have far more to fear from these groups than from some idiot who scratches a swastika on a door.

          • UWSHebrew says:

            don’t forget the violent intimidation by Students for Justice in Palestine against Jewish students that goes on on college campuses nationwide.

      • Mark says:

        Sherman is right.
        It’s not like this was some white guy in Oklahoma asking Indian bar patrons about their immigration status and then shooting them.

      • Jennifer says:

        Really Sherman? You don’t think things are getting worse? Have you read a newspaper or watched the news?

        • sg says:

          Yeah right, it’s happening on every street corner. Not really, but you’d think so if all you watch or read is the MSM.

    5. Darwin says:

      Deplorable, to use a current word for a timeless horror. This person seems to be stupid as well as horrible: the symbol on the left is backwards . . .

    6. Thank you mr. Trump and mr. Bannon.

    7. NPK says:

      I am so sad about this. It is such a beautiful church that has always been open to everybody. We will have to have security cameras everywhere to find out who is doing these horrific acts of vandalism. Trump opened Pandora’s box and all the evil is coming out. How do you stop it?

      • UWSHebrew says:

        you can thank Obama, not Trump, for what is going on. Obama divided this country, and the backlash to that, unfortunately, is a small percentage of white nationalists. Thank you Obama, for all the damage you did to this nation, and the world.

    8. JVH Morningside says:

      Similar to those a few weeks back by a disturbed indiv on public furniture (bus signs, phone books)? Or, Is this the work of a pair of vandals? The two swaztikas are reversed = One bends right, the other left, as if created by two different “hands” as is said in art history. They could have stood side by side, daring the other …

    9. Jane says:

      The idiots doing this all over the country are, indeed, cowards. They don’t like Jews? Then confront them in the open daylight! Start carving your swastikas at noon, and toppling gravestones at 2 pm. See what happens to you!
      But no, they won’t do that, because they are like rats, skittering around in the dark. I should not really make that comparison. Rats are smart.