A New York synagogue was vandalized on Saturday evening, and police are investigating the incident as a possible hate crime.
The rabbi at the Chabad Synogague in Brooklyn's Bushwick neighborhood said a group of about 15 people was enjoying Shabbat together when the large front window of the building was smashed. Children were playing just a few feet away from the window at the time of the vandalism, but no one was hurt, CBS reports.
The synagogue released a statement early on Sunday morning addressing the incident, which they say was fueled by "hate and prejudice."
"We face this unfortunate experience not with discouragement, but with solid determination: to continue celebrating our faith, sharing our rich heritage, and offering our culture in an inclusive and warm environment," the statement posted to Facebook begins. "
At the same time, we acknowledge the disturbing and increasingly frequent incidents of hate and prejudice in our New York community and its destructive and divisive effects, especially on young people. We encourage each other and the public to stand up against it, whenever it occurs, whatever form it takes, and towards whomever it is directed. An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us."
The incident is being investigated by the NYPD Hate Crimes Division. Violence against Jewish groups is on the rise in New York this year, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio.
The mayor spoke at a rally against anti-Semitism on Thursday, and said that there have been 47 hate crime incidents in New York through February 10 of this year, compared to 27 this time last year.
"Here in New York City, we want to make clear, we will not allow fear to win," he said. "We will never allow fear to win. People have to know they are safe and they are respected."