WHITE PLAINS – Westchester County District Attorney Anthony Scarpino, Jr. has announced an investigation into recent anti-Semitic “zoom-bombing” of Jewish religious services in the county, which were being video streamed to bring people together while following social distancing directives.
The incidents took place via a Jewish center video stream on Friday, April 3, and a second incident the following week from another congregation. In both cases, congregation leadership had sent email invitations for anyone to join the interactive video stream.
In both instances, an unknown person or persons logged into the Zoom-based video conference and interrupted the services with anti-Semitic acts, including posting swastikas and other offensive material for all participants to see.
The DA’s office is working with local police in Pelham Manor and Scarsdale to identify who is responsible.
Scarpino’s office has issued subpoenas and is reviewing a recording and other materials of the events. His Cybercrime Bureau is working to trace the digital footprint of the perpetrators and his Hate Crime Unit into the specific aspects of the incidents and what criminal charges might apply.
“Everyone during the COVID-19 crisis is trying to bring people together using technology but there will always be bad actors who find ways to exploit it,” Scarpino said. “My office is working with local police and federal authorities to find out who may have done this and whether they will be charged with a crime.”