November 19, 2019

Prominent Washington DC Synagogue Vandalized

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

(JTA) — A synagogue in Washington DC was vandalized with what is described by local Jewish agencies as “anti-Israel and hate-filled messages.”

The graffiti on the Washington Hebrew Congregation was discovered on Friday morning and congregants were informed of the vandalism in an email later in the day.

The Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington and The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington issued a joint statement on Friday afternoon about the graffiti, which was posted on Facebook.

The statement said the agencies “have been informed that at the present time there is no immediate or direct threat to our community as a result of this disturbing incident,” and that the Washington Metropolitan Police Dept. will conduct a full investigation.

“As we enter Shabbat and the final days of our Fall holidays, let us remember that although we cannot outlaw hate, we must and will continue to send a strong message to the community that these hateful expressions will not be tolerated. We must continue to come together as a community to reject hate in all of its forms,” the statement also said.

A police report said that the incident is being investigated as a possible anti-Jewish hate crime, the DCist news website reported. It also said that the graffiti was drawn in black permanent marker and included “numerous anti-Semitic statements, profane language, and child-like drawings of male and female genitalia.” The graffiti was drawn a week before it was discovered based on footage from a surveillance camera, according to the report.

The prominent DC congregation was founded in 1852 and is one of the largest Reform congregations in the United States.