Orthodox Jews smashed windows and defaced the walls of a Conservative Synagogue in the Borough Park section of Brooklyn, charging the congregation with "heretical" religious practices.
A group calling itself TORAH Tough Orthodox Rabbis and Hasidim, claimed responsibility for shattering two stained-glass windows and painting black swastikas on the four walls of Temple Emanu-el.
Posters left behind listed three grievances: the role granted to women in the services, the use of a microphone on the sabbath, and the seating of men and women together during worship without the traditional mechitza partition to separate them.
"Two out of three are true," said Emanu-el Rabbi Baruch Silverstein. The congregation does not grant aliyah, or functional honors to women in the worship service.
Temple Emanu-el, he said, is one of two non-orthodox synagogues in the largely Hasidim community. Reform and Conservative Jews take more liberal positions on religious dietary, ceremonial and social laws than Orthodox Jews.
Meanwhile, the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith reported that vandalism against Jewish houses of worship, cemeteries and other property more than doubled around the country this year. The report said 129 incidents of vandalism have been reported so far this year, compared with 49 in 1978. New Jersey reported 39 such incidents and New York, 26.