Valley synagogue target of anti-Semitic graffiti

Anti-Semitic graffiti was discovered on the temporary offices of Temple Judea’s West Hills campus on Aug. 22. Leaders of the Valley Reform synagogue say there’s little cause for concern, but added that the LAPD is investigating the incident as a hate crime.

The graffiti, found by a synagogue staffer the morning of Aug. 22, included two swastikas, “666” and “Go Home,” which was spray-painted over a sign indicating the synagogue’s administrative offices.

“I will tell you that a swastika is very uncomfortable to get, especially on a Jewish institution’s walls, but I don’t think any of us personally feel in danger,” said Ellen Franklin, Temple Judea’s executive director.

LAPD officials have no suspects, but Det. Thomas O’Sullivan said there is surveillance video of a van entering the property late Sunday night.

“They reassure us that there is little cause for concern and that this is most probably the work of teenage vandals,” Temple President Michael Robbins and Rabbi Don Goor wrote in an e-mail to congregants.

Temple Judea relocated to its West Hills campus more than a year ago because of construction at its Tarzana campus, which is expected to reopen Sept. 10.

Franklin said the synagogue notified the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the Simon Wiesenthal Center about the graffiti.

“We’re always concerned when we hear of vandalism against a synagogue,” said Alison Mayersohn, ADL senior associate director for the Pacific Southwest region. “We see it as an affront to the entire community.”

— Ryan Torok, Staff Writer