Public menorah smashed in North London in suspected hate crime

West Hampstead Chabad say the last time a public chanukiah erected by them was vandalised was five years ago


A public chanukiah in North London has been destroyed in a suspected hate crime, days after it was plastered with a “Free Palestine” sticker and its bulbs smashed.

The chanukiah, which was erected one week ago on the corner of Queen’s Park in West Hampstead by West Hampstead Chabad, was found in pieces Thursday morning at about quarter to seven by a passer-by on the seventh day of Chanukah.

The incident was reported to both the Met police Thursday morning and to the CST who are currently appealing for more information. Footage from a CCTV camera located across the road is now being reviewed by authorities.

According to West Hampstead Chabad, the bulbs of the same menorah, which is located on the corner of Harvist road and Kingswood Avenue, had already been removed and smashed earlier in the week but were replaced by the local Jewish community. A “Free Palestine” sticker was also placed in the centre of the menorah before being removed.

Rabbi Dovid Katz of West Hampstead Chabad said: “The area has lots of footfall and can have heavy traffic, there’s a lot of people in the evenings and mornings walking around the park.

“We erect a public chanukiah every year for Chanukah, and now next year four will be put up in Queens Park, one in every corner.”

A small group of local Jewish ladies have been volunteering in the community to patrol the area around the park after the vandalism earlier this week, and reported that the chanukiah was intact as of last night.

The CST said in a statement: “This is a disgraceful attack on a symbol of Jewish life in London. Chanukah is a time of celebration of Jewish culture and history, and we will not allow this to intimidate or frighten our community. We call on any local residents who may have seen who did this to contact the police or CST."

A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said it was “despicable” that Jewish people must worry about their Chanukah decorations being desecrated.

The CAA said: “When antisemitism is on display in our urban centres week after week, the authorities need to understand that incidents such as this will become the norm until they take more forceful action."

The Met police confirmed to the JC that the damage done to the chanukiah appears to be deliberate.

“We are making fast time enquiries to identify and locate a suspect. No arrests have been made,” the police said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 quoting CAD 2238/14DEC23.

Another public chanukiah was also destroyed Thursday on Islington Green, Upper Street, with police again confirming the damage appears to be deliberate and no arrests have been made.

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive