UPPER EAST SIDE, Manhattan (WABC) — A Sukkah in New York was vandalized Saturday night, just one day before the start of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot.

The sukkah had been built just hours earlier, on Friday morning, in front of the Chabad Israel Center at East 92nd Street and First Avenue on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.

Footage showed a man urinating on a sukkah before kicking it to death at around 1.20am on Saturday

The incident ended with an unknown heroic New Yorker stepping in and stopping the vandalism.

Figures from the New York Police Department show that there were 20 reported cases of antisemitism last month, compared to 18 last September.

“We have contacted the authorities who are investigating this incident, although we are not concerned,” Rabbi Uriel Wigler said. “We are grateful to a brave New Yorker who demonstrated what New York is all about by standing up to take care of each other.”

A sukkah is a temporary, green-covered hut in which Jews eat during the Sukkot holiday to commemorate G-d’s protection as the ancient Israelites traveled through the desert from Egypt.

The Chabad Israel Center is building a sukkah on the Upper East Side as a community service for people of the Jewish faith who wish to observe the tradition that requires the sukkah to be under the sky.

This year, Sukkot begins on Sunday evening.

“What the public can do to counter this is find a sukkah wherever they are and during Sukkot bless there and shake the lulav and esrog,” Wigler said. “Sukkot is about unity, and this Jewish year is the year of Hachel, the year of gathering, which emphasizes the theme of unity, so it provides another opportunity for people to come together and fulfill a mitzvah.”

The police are now investigating the incident.

SEE ALSO | A breakthrough in the fight against breast cancer

———-

* Get news from eyewitnesses

* More New York news

* Send us a news tip

* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts

* Follow us on YouTube

Copyright © 2022 WABC-TV. All rights reserved.