Steve Gold’s neighbor told him Monday morning he needed to show him something that was very disturbing. It was a Nazi Swastika painted on the street between their homes on Lady Godiva Way in New City. The symbol of hate painted in blue was quickly covered over by town workers.
“My parents were survivors of the concentration camps so when I saw that, it was like a stake going through my heart,” said Gold, who is a prominent Jewish community activist.
Gold’s neighbor, Dr. Norman Levine, saw the marking around 7:15 a.m., notified Gold and called the Clarkstown police. Levine said he felt sickened by what he saw.
“I felt threatened and violated in my own community, in front of my house,” said Levine. “I don’t think that’s an irrational response. I think anyone in my situation would feel that way.”
Gold thinks the symbol was drawn overnight because he said a lot of people were out in the neighborhood on Sunday. Although many of his neighbors are Jewish, Gold believes he was the target because a small dog figurine was missing from his property. He said police drove around the neighborhood and told him they did not find any other markings.
Neighbors voiced concern and were repulsed by the incident.
“It’s just really disturbing,” said one nearby resident. “ It’s just a lack of respect.”
She said when she had put out her garbage cans around 11 p.m. on Sunday night, she did not see anyone or hear anything.
Another neighbor who was driving by stopped to share her feelings.
“I never in my life heard anything so disgusting especially in front of the house of someone who does so much good,” she said.
Clarkstown Town Supervisor Alex Gromack issued a statement regarding the incident.
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"This is a despicable act of anti-Semitism on our public roadway near the home of one of our distinguished leaders of the Jewish Community here in Clarkstown and Rockland County and his neighbor," said Gromack. “The Clarkstown Police Department is investigating this crime. This shocking act of hate is not tolerated in the Town of Clarkstown and we will not allow this kind of reprehensible act to go unpunished."
Gold is a vice president of JCC Rockland in West Nyack and chairs the Munich 11 Minute of Silence Campaign. He is incoming president of the Rockland Jewish Federation. He and his wife Helen are being honored by the Rockland Holocaust Museum & Study Center later this month with its Leadership Award.
“This was done to rattle,” said Gold. “They took the time to do it because it was pretty perfect.”
Gold said he takes the incident very seriously.
“It shows that we can’t forget,” he said.
The Jewish harvest festival of Sukkot began Sunday night. Many Jewish organizations are closed today for observance of the holiday.