In an incident that unfolded on the first day of Hanukkah, a Jewish man was brutally attacked and robbed outside his home in Brooklyn, New York. The victim, identified as 40-year-old Joshua Merenfeld, was enjoying a quiet moment outside when he was suddenly ambushed by an unknown assailant.
The attacker, dressed in a black durag, purple scarf, and a matching black jacket and pants adorned with multicolored designs, approached Merenfeld in front of 906 Eastern Parkway around 7:30 p.m. Without warning, the suspect unleashed a series of vicious punches to the victim’s head, leaving him disoriented and defenseless.
As Merenfeld struggled to regain his footing, the assailant callously snatched his cellphone while spewing hateful antisemitic slurs. The victim’s cries for help fell on deaf ears as the attacker swiftly fled into the nearby Kingston Avenue and Eastern Parkway station, disappearing into the bustling city.
The NYPD’s Hate Crime Task Force has launched an investigation into this shocking incident, categorizing it as an anti-Jewish attack. Merenfeld, who was rushed to Mount Sinai Beth Israel hospital, is now in stable condition but deeply shaken by the traumatic experience.
In an interview with FOX 5 NYC, Merenfeld recounted the harrowing assault. He described being sucker-punched from behind, forcefully pushed to the ground, and relentlessly kicked by his assailant. The attacker’s hateful slurs echoed in his ears, a painful reminder of the rising tide of antisemitism plaguing the nation.
“I want this person caught,” Merenfeld declared with determination. “This is a dangerous person.”
This disturbing attack comes amidst a disturbing surge in antisemitic incidents across the United States, fueled in part by the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas. Just hours before Merenfeld’s assault, a 28-year-old man was arrested for firing a shotgun into the air outside a synagogue in New York’s capital, shouting “Free Palestine.” The suspect, identified as Mufid Fawaz Alkhader, an Iraqi-born U.S. citizen, claimed to be influenced by events in the Middle East.
As the investigation into this heinous crime continues, authorities are urging anyone with information to come forward. The NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline can be reached at 1-800-577-8477.
The Jewish community in Brooklyn and beyond stands united against such acts of hatred and violence. The need for justice and the eradication of antisemitism has never been more urgent.