Home News Vandal smashes UES kosher restaurant window; owner believes it was antisemitic

Vandal smashes UES kosher restaurant window; owner believes it was antisemitic


A window of an Upper East Side kosher restaurant was smashed in the early hours of Wednesday, an act of vandalism the owner believes to be antisemitic.

Employees at Rothschild TLV on Lexington Ave. near E. 79th St. arrived to work Wednesday morning to discover one of the tall front windows had been shattered overnight.

The manager and owner of the spot reviewed surveillance footage, which caught a man approaching the window at around 2:10 a.m., he said.

“We saw him on the footage,” Mike Calbo told the Daily News. “His face was covered with a scarf. It was very difficult to see. He came with a tool in his hand to break the glass. We were targeted.”

The NYPD could not immediately provide details and it has not been determined the restaurant was targeted for serving kosher eats, though the department’s Hate Crime Task force has been notified of the incident.

The vandalism echoed a recent incident on the opposite side of town.

In March, Israeli restaurant Effy’s Cafe on W. 96th St. near Columbus Ave. on the Upper West Side was vandalized with pro-Palestinian graffiti.

The metal gate covering the cafe was covered with red paint at night, while “form line here to support genocide” was spray-painted in black on the sidewalk just outside the entrance. Another sidewalk message, painted green, read “Free Gaza.”

Calbo believes his restaurant, named after a lively boulevard in Tel Aviv, was picked out by a vandal with similar intentions.

The Rothschild TLV restaurant, where it was reported that the windows were smashed in the early morning hours on Wednesday, May 15, 2024. (Sam Costanza for the New York Daily News)
The Rothschild TLV restaurant, where it was reported that the windows were smashed in the early morning hours on Wednesday. (Sam Costanza for the New York Daily News)

“What else could it be?” the restaurateur said. “A crazy person wouldn’t come with his face covered and a tool in his hand. It’s obvious. There is no doubt.”

The incident came on the heels of scores of protests across the city, including several pro-Palestinian encampments at city universities and colleges that ended in hundreds of arrests.

On Wednesday night, a small group of pro-Palestinian students said they were “occupying” the lobby of the CUNY Graduate Center in Midtown, though they left after declaring victory and saying administrators had agreed to forward their demands to the entire student body.

Meanwhile, antisemitism has surged in the city since Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7, prompting a ferocious war in Gaza. Antisemitic hate crimes more than doubled that month alone.

As of April 14, there were 96 hate-fueled incidents targeting Jewish people, according to NYPD stats. The figure marked a 45% uptick compared with the same time frame last year, when cops investigated 66 antisemitic hate crimes.

The attacks against Jewish New Yorkers made up 56% of all hate-motivated crimes across the five boroughs, the stats showed.

Wednesday’s incident left Rothschild TLV manager Deana Pekanovic rattled.

“I was shocked,” she said. “It’s really horrible this happened. It’s been a while since the war started, and we’ve never had any issues here. We’ve only had support. We’ve never had any problems.”

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