More than a year later, Jewish Center’s internal devastation serves as reminder of hate crime

NORWICH – Glass shards still occasionally poke up through the well-worn floor boards, intricate cabinetry shelving and sweeping staircase risers at the Norwich Jewish Center more than a year after vandals ransacked it.

“We can’t seem to get rid of the glass. We keep on discovering it, from (seemingly) nowhere,” said the congregation’s co-President Leslie Dopkeen.

The April 6, 2008 assault on the historic, three-story building on 70-76 S. Broad St. was called a senseless hate crime by authorities. An anti-Semitic message was also tagged on a wall in graffiti and several sacred worship items were damaged.

It involved an investigation by the Norwich City Police, the New York State Police and the FBI which resulted in the apprehension of three youths, between the ages of 13 and 14. The youths were arrested, charged with felony third degree burglary and second degree criminal mischief, and later served between 5 and 30 days in juvenile detention.

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