Story at a glance

  • On Monday, a high school in New York was the target of an anti-Semitic online attack.
  • The FBI has taken over the investigation, according to local police.
  • The attack follows news of a rise in hate crimes.

On Dec. 14, the fifth night of Hanukkah, the website for North Shore Hebrew Academy High School in Great Neck, N.Y., was hacked, compromising private information and targeting the Jewish community with anti-Semitic messages. 

"Last night the Nassau County Police Department commenced an investigation into disturbing and malicious communications that involve online attacks against our Jewish community," Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder said in a statement released Tuesday. "These attacks will never be tolerated and I have assigned extra resources due to these anti-Semitic remarks and threats."  


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Several news outlets reported Wednesday that the FBI had taken over the investigation. 

The Twitter account for StopAntisemitism.org posted a video of the attack on the website, informing Nassau County Police and others of Nazi songs, imagery and messages posted on the website while students' and teachers' addresses and credit card information were being leaked. 


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“We are horrified that hackers have targeted a Jewish school and exposed children to horrific Nazi imagery and messages,” Liora Rez, the director of StopAntisemitism.org, told a local news outlet. The activity lasted a few hours after the organization learned of the breach at around 4 p.m. “Many of these teens are descendants of Holocaust survivors and generational trauma is often triggered when events like these occur.” 

Hate crimes hit their highest level in more than a decade last year, according to the FBI, and a majority of anti-religious hate crimes — which made up about 20 percent of all reported crimes —  were motivated by anti-Jewish bias. Nassau County is home to a significant Jewish population, roughly 230,000 and growing as of 2013, and the North Shore Hebrew Academy serves more than 1,000 children. 


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Published on Dec 18, 2020