December 7, 2019

DC Synagogue Vandalized with Swastika Graffiti

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

Washington, D.C.’s Sixth and I synagogue was vandalized with graffiti of swastikas on Nov. 29.

The synagogue’s rabbis – Shira Stutman, Aaron Potek and Jesse Paikin – wrote in a Dec. 2 email to community members that the graffiti also contained unspecified anti-Semitic slurs; the graffiti was carved into a door and drawn on a stairwell. The damage was minor.

“Given the current climate, we are unfortunately not surprised by this happening,” the rabbis wrote. “Anti-Semitic attacks are on the rise, as are hate crimes against marginalized communities. While we are grateful to live in a country that has nurtured the world’s most vibrant Jewish communities, we know there is a tremendous amount of work left to be done.”

They added that when such graffiti occurs, Jews should remain proud of who they are.

“We are stronger than a few swastikas; stronger than some impotent graffiti etched into our doors,” the rabbis wrote. “In solidarity with non-Jewish loved ones and allies, we can and will respond to his hateful act with open doors, in resilience and spirit, living Jewish lives of joy, optimism and pride.”

Zioness Director of Grassroots Organizing Carly Pildis tweeted, “I have no words for what this place means to me. My husband converted there. Rabbi Shira married us. My daughter was named there. I am distraught.”

In a subsequent tweet, Pildis called for people to donate to Sixth and I.

Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department spokesperson Hugh Carew told The Washington Post that police are investigating the matter.

According to the Post, Sixth and I gears their services toward millennials and hosted speakers and performers like Jim Gaffigan, Tina Fey and former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan.