August 20, 2019

White Paint Thrown on Woodland Hills Synagogue in Act of Vandalism

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

White paint was plastered on the Hebrew Discovery Center in Woodland Hills on the morning of July 14 in an apparent act of vandalism.

Rabbi Nathan Louie told the Journal in a phone interview that the vandals, who have yet to be identified, threw the paint all over the entrance of the synagogue and were attempting to write something with the paint until passersby called the police and the vandals fled.

Louie estimated that the cost of the damages from the vandalism will be around $10,000. 

“It’s a hate crime,” Louie said.

In response to the vandalism, Louie said the synagogue will hire an extra security guard, permit only members from entering the synagogue, buy an extra firearm and train staff to use it in case an intruder breaches the security guard.

Louie said the vandalism has left the community feeling “violated.” He stated it’s not the first time the synagogue was targeted. He said the synagogue was vandalized in 2016 and in 2018, when an intruder walked into the synagogue and started shouting about wanting to kill Jews.

Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Los Angeles Senior Associate Regional Director Matthew Friedman told the Journal in a phone interview that the ADL is “very disturbed by this act of vandalism,” adding that it “sends an intimidating message to the Jewish community, specifically at synagogue.” Friedman also speculated that the recent increase in anti-Semitic hate crimes in California was largely driven by incidents in Southern California.