Local and state police are investigating a hate crime at the Brooklyn Jewish Children's Museum, after a message reading "Hitler is coming" was found on an interactive display outside the Crown Heights religious institution.
The anti-Semitic vandalism, discovered at around 5 p.m. on Thursday, was scrawled on a billboard designed for passersby to leave comments about how they would "transform the world." A suspect has not yet been identified.
Governor Andrew Cuomo on Thursday directed state police to assist in the investigation, which is being handled by the NYPD's Hate Crime Unit. "I have visited this great museum, built in honor of Ari Halberstam who was tragically killed in an anti-Semitic terror attack on the Brooklyn Bridge, after it received threats in the past," the governor said in a statement. "It's all more distressing for this institution built to bring together children of all faiths and backgrounds to foster tolerance to be targeted."
Back in 2017, the Jewish Children's Museum had to be evacuated after receiving a bomb threat, which turned out to be a hoax.
Speaking with News 12 Brooklyn, Devorah Halberstam, the museum's co-founder and mother of Ari, said, "personally it's like a stab in my heart and murdering my son again and it's also a bone in my throat because I can't imagine how anybody would want to target children, a place for children."
Earlier this week, the NYPD disclosed that reports of hate crimes have increased 83 percent since this time last year. A majority of those attacks have been anti-Semitic in nature, police said. A recent Anti-Defamation League report also found that the number of anti-Semitic assaults is surging in New York and across the country.
With Jen Chung.