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Random Attacks In Brooklyn The Latest In String Of Hate Crimes Against Local Jewish Community

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - Hate crimes against the Jewish community are on the rise in New York City.

Most recently, two men are under arrest in connection with a pair of Wednesday morning attacks on Jewish men in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.

The 51-year-old victim was approached by three men around 1 a.m. on President Street.

No one spoke, but police say the men punched the victim in the face and body, leaving him with cuts and bruises.

Minutes earlier, 22-year-old Mendel Super was attacked half a block away. Police believe the two assaults are linked.

Nazar Walters, 18, and Teshon Bannister, 21, were arrested and face assault and hate crime charges.

A third suspect remains on the loose.

The Anti-Defamation League is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case.

"We are sickened by this horrific violence, and increasingly alarmed by rising tensions in the community in the wake of similar incidents," said Evan R. Bernstein, Regional Director of ADL New York / New Jersey. "These crimes are unacceptable, and they must stop.  We must work together to stem the tide of anti-Semitic violence in Brooklyn."

A filmmaker in Brooklyn says the latest round of intolerance is nothing new, and at one time was even celebrated at a "pro-American" rally at Madison Square Garden.

Director Marshall Curry says the scene that played out in 1939 felt like it should have been worlds away.

"I was shocked," he said. " When I first saw it, it seemed like a rally in Nuremberg or something."

Curry directed the Oscar-nominated short film "A Night at the Garden," and says the pro-Nazi rally happened just months before Germany invaded Poland.

Even though it was decades ago, sadly he says the sentiment resonates today.

"It seems like we're having an uptick in anti-Semitic attacks and hate crimes in general, and it was important to remind people that this was part of our history," Curry said.

In New York, hate crimes have doubled over the past year. Of those eight anti-Semitic hate crimes took place in the first three weeks of 2018 compared to 15 this year.

Several, including the most recent one, happened in Crown Heights. Another unprovoked attack took place on January 16th on Kensington Avenue.

"I just really felt so helpless lying on the ground there," Super said. "Nothing that I could do. It was the scariest experience of my life."

Super says he was on the phone with his father when he was blindsided.

"I feel like as a country, we need to say that it's not okay," Curry said. "Understanding our history is an important part of doing that."

People can watch Curry's short film, "A Night at the Garden," for free online by CLICKING HERE.

Anyone with any information is asked to call NYPD's Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or 1-888-57-PISTA (74782) for Spanish. You can also submit a tip via the Crime Stoppers website, by Tweeting @NYPDTips or by texting a tip to 274637 (CRIMES) and then entering TIP577.

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