5 people were stabbed during a Hanukkah celebration at a rabbi's home in what New York's governor is calling an 'act of domestic terror'

mmark@businessinsider.com (Michelle Mark,Shona Ghosh,Kat Tenbarge)
monsey stabbing

Reuters/Eduardo Munoz

  • The New York Times reports multiple people were stabbed in a rabbi's home in Monsey, New York, on Saturday evening during a Hanukkah gathering.
  • The NYPD arrested a suspect in Harlem, about 30 miles away from Monsey, but have not indicated whether the incident is being investigated as an anti-Semitic hate crime.
  • The Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Council for the Hudson Valley region tweeted that five patients — all Hasidic — had been taken to local hospitals.
  • The stabbing follows a series of anti-Semitic attacks in the New York region, including a Jersey City shooting at a kosher market that left 6 people dead.
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Multiple people were stabbed in a rabbi's home in Monsey, New York, late Saturday evening during a Hanukkah celebration, according to the Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Council for the Hudson Valley region.

Ramapo Police posted on Facebook early Sunday that the New York Police Department (NYPD) had arrested a suspect in the stabbing. The New York Times reports that the suspect was arrested in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City, which is about 30 miles from Monsey. Authorities have not yet indicated whether the incident is being investigated as a hate crime.

The council said on Twitter that five patients with stab wounds were taken to local hospitals. All victims were Hasidic, and two of them were in critical condition, the organization said.

"One of the victims was stabbed at least 6 times. The fifth/least severe case had a cut in his hand," the council tweeted.

The stabbing occurred at Rabbi Rottenburg's Shul just as "dozens" had gathered to light Hanukkah candles.

In a press interview given early on Sunday by council cofounder Yossi Gestetner, he said the call about the stabbings came into law enforcement at 9.50pm on Saturday evening. He added that one of the rabbi's children had been stabbed during the incident.

The NYPD's counterterrorism unit tweeted that it was "closely monitoring the reports of multiple people stabbed at a synagogue in Monsey, NY."

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo declared the stabbing an "act of domestic terror" on Sunday morning, and said it would be treated the same as any other act of domestic terror, describing it as the intersection of "intolerance, ignorance, and illegality." 

monsey stabbing

Reuters/Eduardo Munoz

New York's Attorney General Letitia James tweeted that she was "deeply disturbed by the situation unfolding in Monsey."

"There is zero tolerance for acts of hate of any kind and we will continue to monitor this horrific situation," she added.

The news comes amid a spate of suspected anti-Semitic attacks in the New York area. Authorities have received at least six reports of such attacks this week, and eight since December 13, according to the Associated Press.

Earlier on Saturday, a woman in New York City was charged with attempted assault as a hate crime. Police said she slapped three Jewish women in the face in Brooklyn's Crown Heights neighborhood.

In addition, an Orthodox Jewish man was stabbed in November, steps away from a Ramapo synagogue as he was walking to morning prayers. No one has been charged in that stabbing, and officials have not yet determined that it was a hate crime. On December 10, a shooting in a Jersey City kosher market left 6 dead.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio also tweeted late Saturday night that the NYPD had ramped up police presence around houses of worship in heavily Jewish neighborhoods.

"Horrific. So many Jewish families in our city have close ties to Monsey. We cannot overstate the fear people are feeling right now," he said. "I've spoken to longtime friends who, for the first time in their lives, are fearful to show outward signs of their Jewish faith."

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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