December 12, 2018

Columbia Professor’s Office Vandalized With Swastikas

Screenshot from Twitter.

A professor at Columbia University found her office vandalized with spray-painted swastikas and the anti-Semitic slur “Yid” on Wednesday afternoon.

According to the Columbia Daily Spectator, Elizabeth Midlarsky, who is a Holocaust scholar and psychology professor at the university, discovered the graffiti at 1 p.m. that day on the walls of her office.

“I stopped for a moment, because I couldn’t believe what I was seeing,” Midlarsky told the Spectator.

Midlarsky also told The Washington Post, “I’m usually not a fearful person, but they got me. I’m afraid.”

It’s not the first time Midlarsky’s office has been vandalized; in 2007, a swastika was spray-painted on her door, a couple of weeks after anti-Semitic flyers had been found in her office mailbox.

Anti-Defamation League (ADL) New York Regional Director Evan Bernstein told The New York Times that such graffiti in “somebody’s intimate space like that was very unique.”

Thomas Bailey, president of Columbia’s Teachers College, denounced the graffiti in a statement.

“We unequivocally condemn any expression of hatred, which has no place in our society,” Bailey said. “We are outraged and horrified by this act of aggression and use of this vile anti-Semitic symbol against a valued member of our community.”

Bailey added, “Please rest assured that we are working with police to discover the perpetrator of this hateful act.”

The ADL praised Bailey’s statement in a tweet:

Columbia’s Students Supporting Israel chapter wrote on their Facebook page that they “didn’t believe, or didn’t want to believe, that it would happen here.”

“The only resolve we can find is the belief that maybe this will finally wake up the administration as to what is going on under their noses,” they wrote. “We fear this will be swept under the rug like countless other complaints. We can only look to ourselves to make sure this climate doesn’t snowball into the complete antithesis of the values Columbia was founded on.”

The investigation is ongoing.

Virginia JCC Vandalized With Swastika Graffiti

Screenshot from Twitter.

The Jewish Community Center (JCC) of Northern Virginia was vandalized on Saturday with 19 spray-painted swastikas on it.

Surveillance footage shows an unidentified person spray painting the swastikas onto the JCC at 4:30 a.m. Staff members of the JCC first discovered the graffiti at 8 am. The investigation remains ongoing.

“These acts do not represent the community around the J or the community in Northern Virginia,” Jeff Dannick, executive director of the JCC, and David Yaffe, president of the JCC’s board of directors, wrote on the JCC’s Facebook page. “As we also know, our neighboring churches also have suffered recent vandalism. The J as a whole, and particularly through the focused efforts of our Committee for a Just and Caring Community, will continue to participate as a positive force in both the Jewish and wider communities.”

Since the vandalism occurred, several community members have shown their support for the JCC by leaving messages in chalk on the sidewalk around the building that read, “Love is the answer” and “We stand with you.” Others showed support by sending flowers, emails and calling the synagogue with support.

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) shared a photo of the vandalism on Twitter and wrote, “An insidious rise in hateful actions and anti-Semitism is happening in Virginia and across the country. We must meet it with fierce condemnation and an over-abundance of love and unity. We cannot allow hate to fester.”


On their Facebook page, the JCC wrote that they were “touched by the outpouring of support” and that the graffiti was removed on Saturday afternoon.

“Thank you to everyone who has offered your kind words and support of solidarity against hate,” the post read.

In 2017, 20-year-old Dylan Mahone was arrested and charged for vandalizing the JCC as well as a church and a community college with anti-Semitic graffiti.

The investigation remains ongoing.

French Synagogue Vandalized With Anti-Israel Graffiti: ‘No to Zionists, No to Israel’

Screenshot from Twitter.

A French synagogue was vandalized with anti-Israel graffiti as well as stickers of Palestinian, Lebanese and French flags on the shul’s entrance.

Here is a picture of the graffiti on the main Shul in Le Havre:

The graffiti, written in French, translates to: “No to Zionists, No to Israel.”

The National Bureau for Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism (BVNCA) said in a statement that a mailbox at the Shul had bullet holes in it in 2016.

“Anti-Zionist rhetoric targeting Israel that is placed on a synagogue confirms that anti-Zionists are notorious anti-Semites,” the BVNCA said.

Anti-Defamation League (ADL) CEO Jonathan Greenblatt also denounced the vandalism, tweeting, “Vandalizing synagogues with anti-Zionist or anti-Israel messages is anti-Semitism, plain and simple. They are deliberately targeting French Jews.”

Rabbi Dov Lewin, the shul’s rabbi, wrote on Facebook that while he was shocked at the vandalism, “the community remains strong.”

An investigation is still underway, but police believe that the vandalism was committed by a novice given Israel was misspelled as “Isrrael.”

On July 27, Vice President Mike Pence highlighted the rising anti-Semitism in France.

“It is remarkable to think that within the very lifetimes of some French Jews — the same French Jews that were forced by the Nazis to wear identifiable Jewish clothing — that some of those same people are now being warned by their democratic leaders not to wear identifiable Jewish clothing,” Pence said. “These acts of violence and hatred and anti-Semitism must end.”

Indiana Billboards Show Solidarity With Vandalized Synagogue

Screenshot from Twitter.

The residents of Carmel, Indiana, decided to show their solidarity with the synagogue that was vandalized with anti-Semitic graffiti on July 28.

Congregation Shaarey Tefila was laced with a Nazi flag two iron crosses that morning; Shabbat services proceeded as normal. An investigation is still ongoing.

In the meantime, the synagogue continues to gain support in the midst of the incident, with the latest being billboards depicting the following:

There are total of 12 such billboards across the state.

Chris Iverson, vice president and general manager of Lamar Advertising, told WISH TV that they, as well as Outfront Media and Fairway Outdoor Advertising, put up the billboards in order to send “a positive message” to the synagogue.

“We have their back,” Iverson said. “We love them and we want to promote that sense of tolerance that was a horrible act. We don’t tolerate it and this is our way of shoring our support for them.”

Additionally, hundreds of people of varying religious affiliations gathered at Shaarey Tefila on July 30 to show their support for the synagogue in the aftermath of the vandalism; WFYI described it as being “standing room only.” A GoFundMe page was started on July 31 to help Shaarey Tefila “respond, recover, and restore our property as a result of the graffiti incident.” As of publication time $1,633 had been donated to the page; the synagogue is hoping to reach a goal of $15,000.

“Right now, I want to see it just as vandalism,” Shaarey Tefila President Corey Freedman told WISH TV. “I want the individuals to know that it hurt. But, it doesn’t sting and it doesn’t stay forever.”

H/T: Times of Israel

University of Oregon Hillel Sign Defaced With ‘Free Palestine You F*cks’

Screenshot from Facebook.

A “Welcome” sign from the University of Oregon Hillel was vandalized with cuss-laden graffiti on July 6.

The sign originally stated “Welcome” in both English and Hebrew; black marker was used to write “Free Palestine you f*cks.” Also written in black marker was something that resembled, “F*ck your high horse.”

In a Facebook post, the Oregon Hillel Foundation wrote that they were “shocked and saddened” by the vandalism and that they took the sign off the premises to clean off the marker.

“We greatly appreciate the immediate support of President [Michael] Schill, the Dean of Students Office and the Office of Equity and Inclusion,” Oregon Hillel wrote. “All have voiced their concern and support for our community and offered their resources.”

The post also included a statement from University of Oregon Division of Student Life Vice President Kevin Marbury condemning the vandalism.

“Anti-Semitism and other forms of hate have no place at the University of Oregon. We condemn this as an unacceptable violation our university values,” Marbury said. “The UO Police Department has taken the initial report and is working with Eugene PD to further investigate. To the extent we are able, we will share additional information as it becomes available.”

At the end of May, University of Oregon’s student government passed a resolution calling on the university to divest funding from companies that do business with Israel. Shill denounced the resolution as not being “welcoming and inclusive.”

Despite all this, the Oregon Hillel Foundation is pressing on.

“Despite hate we celebrate light by lighting the Shabbat candles with our community around the world,” they wrote.

Mezuzah Vandalized and Rededicated at UCLA

Photo from Wikimedia Commons

A rededication of a mezuzah was held at UCLA on Jan. 18 after a vandalism incident during which a mezuzah was removed from the door of the school’s Undergraduate Students Association Council president.

The president, Arielle Mokhtarzadeh, described in a Jan. 10 Facebook post how she returned from winter break to find that the mezuzah adorning her office in Kerckhoff Hall had been taken down. Mokhtarzadeh noted that it was “the second time in two years that Mezuzah has been stolen from doorpost the Office of the President.”

“The fact that you felt the need to vandalize my office under the cover of darkness shows that you and your actions do not represent this community, which has no tolerance for your intolerance,” Mokhtarzadeh wrote. “We know all too well that there are costs associated with championing certain identities in our current political climate. We cannot afford to let that reality become our reality, for the day students at UCLA begin to feel that there are costs associated with being themselves at this University is the day we, as a community, forfeit the right to call ourselves one in the first place.”

In response to the incident, a rededication of a new mezuzah was held in front of Mokhtarzadeh’s office. UCLA Chabad Rabbi Dovid Gurevich, who presided over the event, declared in a speech, “You can steal a mezuzah, but not God.

“You cannot steal the faith and resilience, especially of the Jewish people, who have been around long enough to overcome all kinds of adversity and challenge,” he said.

Gurevich also praised Mokhtarzadeh for “her amazing leadership.”

“She really exemplifies the best of the best, and her leadership is very inspiring to us,” Gurevich said.

Gurevich explained that there are two key parts to the mezuzah: It states in Hebrew that “God is our Lord, God is one” and that good, divine deeds are done “with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind.”

“Arielle’s leadership is with all her heart, with all her soul and with all her mind, and she really, really goes out of her way to be positive, to be proactive,” Gurevich said, “and that’s why it’s very important to make this positive stand here, so this thing should not happen again. It should only be positive happenings throughout UCLA, throughout campuses, not only for the Jewish students but for everyone. People should learn tolerance, people should learn to respect each other’s cultures and beliefs.”

According to the Daily Bruin, Mokhtarzadeh said she’s working to get security cameras installed on the third floor of Kerckhoff Hall to ensure that such incidents don’t happen again. Investigators have not named any suspects yet and the incident is being investigated as a possible hate crime.

Students Supporting Israel at UCLA (SSI), UCLA Hillel and Bruins for Israel will host an event to discuss anti-Semitism on campus.

“We plan to stand strong in the face of anti-Semitism, just as we have in the past,” SSI President Hirmand Sarafian told the Daily Bruin.

UCLA gained national attention when a provocative editorial cartoon featuring Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was published in the Daily Bruin in 2017, and in 2015, when a member of the student council’s judicial board asked a Jewish nominee for student council if she would be “able to maintain an unbiased view” despite her faith.

As Mokhtarzadeh explained in her Facebook post, mezuzahs are important because they speak “to fundamental Jewish values like education and accountability for one’s actions.”

“Mezuzahs have marked the doorposts of Jewish homes for generations; demonstrating dedication to our Jewish traditions, exhibiting pride in our Jewish identities, and expressing defiance against those who pressured Jews to hide or cast away their identities,” Mokhtarzadeh wrote. “I grew up hearing stories about my grandparents’ childhoods in Iran where they were forced to put their Mezuzahs on the inside of their doorposts, rather of than the outside. What better way to honor the sacrifices and experiences of my grandparents and parents than to proudly express my Jewish identity in a way they never could. Imagine my utter disappointment to see that the reality they feared most had happened in our very own Kerckhoff Hall.”

L.A.’s Iranian Jewish community shocked by vandalism of synagogue in Iran

Los Angeles area Iranian Jewish community leaders have confirmed news reports that two synagogues in the southwestern Iranian city of Shiraz was vandalized by unknown assailants on December 24th.

Local Iranian Jews with friends and family in Iran, informed the Journal that a total of five Torah scrolls and numerous prayer books were damaged or totally destroyed in the Hadash and Kashi synagogues located inside the city’s ancient Jewish ghetto. Likewise, L.A. area Iranian Jewish activists informed the Journal that Tsedaka charity boxes were also stolen from the synagogues during the incident and Iranian authorities have prohibited anyone from photographing or filming the crime scene.

While exact details as to the circumstances surrounding the attacks on the synagogues have been limited, both the Iranian American Jewish Federations in Los Angeles and New York recently released a joint statement expressing shock at the incident and concern for the safety of the Jews still living in Iran.

“In light of these clearly anti-Semitic incidents we call upon the authorities in the Islamic Republic of Iran to sure the protection of all places of worship as well as all members of our community, and to bring the perpetrators of these criminal acts to justice,” the joint statement indicated.

Leaders and activists in Iranian Jewish communities in Southern California and New York have remained mostly quiet about the incidents for fear that what they say may be used as an excuse by the Iranian regime to retaliate against the estimated 5,000 to 8,000 Jews still living there.

Still, some L.A. area Iranian Jews with ancient roots and close ties to the city of Shiraz said they were heartbroken when hearing about the Hadash synagogue’s vandalism. Dariush Fakheri, the former president of the L.A.-based SIAMAK organization, an Iranian Jewish non-profit, is one local Iranian Jew who was born and raised in Shiraz and expressed his sadness about the incident.

“I am very disturbed to say the least. This was our family synagogue while we were living in Shiraz and our family prayed there for generations,” said Fakheri. “My Muslim friends, classmates, neighbors and I were very dear to each other. They were not capable of or the type of people to even imagine committing such an ugly act”.

The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and Simon Wiesenthal Center both issued statements condemning the vandalism of the Shiraz synagogues.

“The Iranian regime daily expresses its genocidal hatred for the Jewish State, promotes Holocaust denial and funds terrorist organizations targeting Israel,” stated Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, in a released statement. “Its hateful rhetoric and policies fuel anti-Semitism at home and around the world. Still, the Jewish community will have no choice but to rely on authorities to investigate this ominous hate crime”.

Since the incidents occurred, the Iranian regime has not released any statement or report regarding the vandalism nor launched any official investigation. Additionally, Iranian state-run media outlets have not reported on the incident either.

The vandalism of the Shiraz synagogues brings back painful memories for local Iranian Jews of the anti-Semitism Jews have encountered in recent years in Iran.

In 2000, with the assistance of various American-Jewish groups, the Iranian-Jewish community in Los Angeles, worked to publicize the case of 13 Iranian Jews from Shiraz who were imprisoned in 1999 on fabricated charges of spying for Israel. Ultimately, the international exposure put pressure on the Iranian regime, and the so-called “Shiraz 13” were released.

Likewise in November 2012, Toobah Nehdaran, a 57-year-old married Jewish woman, was strangled, then repeatedly stabbed to death, and her body was mutilated in a ritual manner by thugs who had broken into her home located inside the Jewish ghetto within the Iranian city of Isfahan. Nehdaran’s gruesome murder was never investigated by Iranian authorities and suspects were never arrested in connection with her murder.

Also in January 2011, the Iranian student Basiji militia, of the Abu-Ali Sina/Avicenna University in the western Iranian province of Hamadan rioted outside the entrance of the Esther and Mordechai tomb and threatened to destroy it if Israel destroyed the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem. The Iranian state-run media news reported at that time that Basiji militia had removed the mausoleum’s entrance sign, covered the Star of David at the mausoleum’s entrance with a welded metal cover and demanded the site be placed under the supervision of the local Islamic religious authority. In the end the tombs, were not destroyed nor destroyed.

Calls for comment to the Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations in New York were not returned.

Teen Faces Indictment for Vandalizing Jewish Cemetery

Screenshot from YouTube.

A teenager has been indicted for vandalizing a Jewish cemetery in New York.

Eric Carbanoro, 18, is being indicted for allegedly being a part of a group that emblazoned anti-Semitic graffiti on Beth Shalom Cemetery in Warwick, NY, which included the words “Heil Hitler” and multiple swastikas, on Oct. 9, 2016.

The indictment also alleges that Carbanoro deleted incriminating images from phones belonging to other people, including a meme that stated “secretly spray paints Jewish cemetery and gets away with it.”

As a result, Carbanoro is being charged with conspiring to commit a hate crime and tampering with evidence.

District Attorney David Hoovler denounced the vandalism in a statement.

“There is no room for this type of hateful desecration of religious property here in Orange County,” said Hoovler. “These anti-Semitic symbols and messages do not reflect the values of the overwhelming majority of Orange County and Warwick residents.”

Carbonaro has yet to be arrested. It is believed that he conspired with two others to commit the hate crime, both of which have yet to be identified. The investigation is still ongoing.

There have been numerous instances of Jewish cemeteries being vandalized in 2017, including a Jewish cemetery in Boston in July and three in a span of 12 days in March.

Sukkah At Kansas State Vandalized

An anti-Semitic poster was hung on the Kansas State University campus. Photo via WikiCommons.

A sukkah that was residing on the Kansas State University (KSU) campus was vandalized on Friday evening.

The sukkah was built on October 3 and was intended for Jewish students to gather and eat during Sukkot, but on Friday graduate student Glen Buickerood, a Hillel liaison, noticed that the “the Sukkah was gone.”

“The chairs and tables stood where the Sukkah had been,” Buickerood wrote in an email to campus leaders. “The stakes were still in the ground. Stakes that had been tied to the Sukkah had been pulled out.”

The Sukkah ended up being wrapped around Buickerood’s car, which damaged the vehicle. Buickerood added in his email that he believes that the sukkah was an act of anti-Semitic vandalism.

“This was a direct response to what the Sukkah stands for and represents,” Buickerood wrote.

KSU President Richard Myers issued a statement condemning the incident.

There is no place in our community for hateful, criminal reactions to religious expression,” said Myers “Many who live or work on our campuses, particularly those of the Jewish community, are experiencing significant pain and fear as a result of this act. Our hearts go out to those in the K-State family who have been negatively affected.”

The sukkah has since been rebuilt and on Wednesday the campus will be hosting a Sukkot Solidarity Dinner as a response to the vandalism.

According to an Anti-Defamation League (ADL) study in April, anti-Semitic incidents on college campuses increased by 86% by that point in 2017. ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt is quoted on the site as saying, “Clearly, we have work to do and need to bring more urgency to the fight. At ADL, we will use every resource available to put a stop to anti-Semitism. But we also need more leaders to speak out against this cancer of hate and more action at all levels to counter anti-Semitism.”

Ukraine teens arrested for vandalizing Jewish cemetery

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

(JTA) — Authorities in Ukraine have identified several teenagers whom police said desecrated at least 20 Jewish graves in August.

The teens, all males younger than 18, were detained last month in connection with vandalism in Svalyava, a city in Western Ukraine that is located approximately 100 miles southwest of Lviv, the news site reported last week. The report did not say whether the suspects admitted the actions attributed to them or what punishments they will receive if convicted.

The teens pushed over at least 20 gravestones, causing some to smash, including the gravestone of the town’s former rabbi, Rabbi Shalom Goldenberg. The cemetery they allegedly vandalized has not been in use for decades.

In 2012, the Council of Europe adopted a nonbinding resolution placing responsibility for the care of Jewish cemeteries on national governments. The resolution was based in part on a report that said Jewish cemeteries are “probably” more vulnerable than other cemeteries.

In addition to frequent vandalism at Jewish cemeteries, including for anti-Semitic reasons, the report also noted instances of cemeteries in Eastern Europe that have been turned into “residential areas, public gardens, leisure parks, army grounds and storage sites; some have been turned into lakes.”

Windows smashed at Northern California synagogue

A smashed window at Temple Israel clearly shows children’s drawings of Stars of David, Aug. 17, 2017 Photo by Mel Waldorf/J. The Jewish News of Northern California.

Published by JTA via The Jewish News of Northern California.

Police  are investigating what appears to be vandalism at Temple Israel in the Bay Area city of Alameda.

At about 6 p.m. Thursday, congregational president Genevieve Pastor-Cohen sent an email to the congregation stating, “in the morning, it was discovered that two classroom windows had been smashed,” and noting that police and Harbor Bay Security had been notified.

“During our Weds. Aug 16th Board of Directors meeting, we discussed the possibility of our synagogue being a target in our small town of Alameda especially with the ongoing expression of bigotry and anti-Semitism,” the letter continued. “It breaks my heart and soul to be exposed to this type of mindless and senseless action especially aimed at the community I (we) love.”

Congregant Mel Waldorf went to the synagogue after he received the email, and told J. that one of the windows that had been smashed “was where kids had painted Stars of David.”

He also said that another window that noted this was “the new Temple Israel” had been smashed. Waldorf said that police took away a rock the assailants had used in an effort to smash in the front door.

“There’s no question that the attacker knew this was a Jewish institution,” he told J.

In her email to the congregation, Pastor-Cohen noted that a security plan had been developed this year by a synagogue task force, and added that the plan will be re-examined after this incident “to ensure our community is protected and safe from harm, especially with our High Holy Days coming upon us.”

Police told J. that a report had been filed, and the case was being investigated. No further details were available at press time.

Muslim veterans offer to guard Jewish sites across US

A headstone, pushed off its base by vandals, lays on the ground near a smashed tomb in the Mount Carmel Cemetery on Feb. 27. Photo by Tom Mihalek/Reuters

Following the recent wave of bomb threats against Jewish community centers and the vandalism of two Jewish cemeteries, some Muslims on Twitter are offering to help guard Jewish sites.

The tweeters, including some veterans, said they would volunteer to protect JCCs, cemeteries and synagogues, the Huffington Post first reported.

This latest show of solidarity comes after an online fundraising campaign started by two Muslims — and touted by “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling — raised more than $150,000 to repair a vandalized Jewish cemetery outside of St. Louis last week. Some 170 gravestones were toppled at the Chesed Shel Emeth cemetery in University City, Missouri.

One of the founders of the campaign, Linda Sarsour, is a supporter of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement and a harsh critic of Israel.

On Monday, a Muslim man who started an online fundraising campaign for a Florida mosque damaged in an arson attempt said that many of the donors to the campaign, which raised $60,000, were Jewish.

“I couldn’t understand why people were donating in what seemed like weird amounts to the cause. There are sums of 18, 36, 72.00 dollars etc. then I figured out after clicking on the names Avi, Cohen, Gold-stein, Rubin, Fisher…. Jews donate in multiples of 18 as a form of what is called ‘Chai’. It wishes the recipient a long life,” Adeel Karim, a member of the Islamic Society of New Tampa wrote Monday in a Facebook post. “The Jewish faith has shown up in force to support our New Tampa Islamic community. I’m floored.”

Over the past two months, nearly 90 bomb threats have been called into 72 Jewish institutions in 30 states and one Canadian province. A Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia was also vandalized.

President Donald Trump condemned the anti-Semitic threats on Tuesday night in his first speech to a joint session of Congress.

Philadelphia labor unions offer to repair, secure vandalized Jewish cemetery

View of headstones on the ground after vandals pushed them off their bases in the Mount Carmel Cemetery, a Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia. February 27, 2017. Photo by Tom Mihalek/REUTERS.

Two Philadelphia unions said they will provide free services to help repair and secure the city’s vandalized Mount Carmel Cemetery.

More than 100 gravestones were toppled and damaged at the Jewish cemetery in the Wissinoming section. The vandalism was discovered Sunday.

Bobby Henon, a Philadelphia City Council member with union ties who represents the Wissinoming neighborhood, tweeted Monday evening that the Philadelphia Building and Construction Trades Council offered to replace the toppled headstones and that the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Union Local 98 offered to install additional lighting and security cameras.

Labor leader John Dougherty of the Philadelphia Building and Construction Trades Council told reporters that the vandalism is a “cowardly act of anti-Semitism that cannot be tolerated.” His workers also offered to re-sod and clean the cemetery grounds.

Meanwhile, a Gofundme campaign for the Philadelphia cemetery launched by a private citizen, Raphael Caroline, 31, in the hours after the vandalism was discovered has raised nearly $20,000 in 24 hours, double its original goal.

The Jewish Federation of Philadelphia announced that a volunteer cleanup of the cemetery will begin at noon Tuesday and run every day from noon to 4 p.m.

The federation said it will begin cleaning up the cemetery Tuesday and asked for volunteers.

“Representatives from the Jewish Federation will be on hand as well as up to 50 people per hour cleaning and working to help restore this important Philadelphia landmark,” the federation said in a statement.

In response to the vandalism, the National Museum of American Jewish History, which is located in Philadelphia, has initiated a project to preserve the stories of the people who are buried there. The museum has called on those who have relatives or friends buried at Mount Carmel Cemetery to share a photo of the person, and one of the headstone, if possible, and a personal story of up to 150 words. They can be posted at or emailed to

The project is also open to those whose families were affected by the desecration that occurred last week at the Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery in the St. Louis area.

“We would like those who did this to understand that these are not victimless crimes,” said Ivy Barsky, the museum’s CEO, and Gwen Goodman, its director. “The individuals buried at Mt. Carmel were human beings with names, stories, and families. They contributed to the world while they were here and continue to do so through the loved ones they left behind. We honor their memories.”

Jews supporting torched Tampa mosque $18 at a time

Photo courtesy of

The Muslim man who started a crowdfunding page to help repair a mosque in Tampa damaged in an arson attack realized that many of the donors were Jewish after noticing the gifts came in multiples of 18.

Adeel Karim set up the Stand With New Tampa Muslims Against Hate crowdfunding page on the Launchgood website on Feb. 24, the day of the attack in the wee hours of the morning. The fire was put out quickly, but the sprinkler system caused a great deal of water damage.

Karim’s campaign raised nearly $60,000 in less than a week, surpassing its $40,000 goal.

“I couldn’t understand why people were donating in what seemed like weird amounts to the cause. There are sums of 18, 36, 72.00 dollars etc. then I figured out after clicking on the names Avi, Cohen, Gold-stein, Rubin, Fisher…. Jews donate in multiples of 18 as a form of what is called “Chai”. It wishes the recipient a long life,” Karim wrote Monday in a Facebook post.

“You learn something new every day. The Jewish faith has shown up in force to support our New Tampa Islamic community. I’m floored,” the post continued. It concluded with the hashtag #chaidelieverd.

The Islamic Society of New Tampa mosque hosts interfaith events.

A quote on its website reads: “Let us not forget that we are all members of the same human fraternity; our differences are meant to be embraced; our diversity should become our strength if we wholeheartedly commit ourselves to get to know each other because, as Allah has made clear, we are all descendants of one man and one woman.”

Earlier this month, a crowdfunding campaign launched by two Muslim Americans raised over $100,000 for a vandalized Jewish cemetery outside of St. Louis.

ADL offers reward for information about Philadelphia Jewish cemetery vandals

ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt speaking at the organization’s Never is Now conference in New York City, Nov. 17, 2016. Photo courtesy of the ADL.

The Anti-Defamation League offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of those responsible for the vandalism of a Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia.

More than 100 gravestones were toppled and damaged at the Mount Carmel Cemetery in the city’s Wissinoming section. The vandalism was discovered Sunday.

The reward money leading to the arrest and conviction of the vandals is being provided by the Mizel Family Foundation, according to the ADL.

It is not known who committed the vandalism or if the motive was anti-Semitism.

A Gofundme campaign for the Philadelphia cemetery was launched by a private citizen, Raphael Caroline, 31, in the hours after the vandalism was discovered. It reached its $10,000 goal and beyond in seven hours.

The Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia also is collecting donations for repairs to the cemetery.

Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey in a tweet called the attack on the cemetery “a despicable act of vandalism — these acts of hate cannot be tolerated.”

The state’s governor, Tom Wolf, in a tweet called the vandalism “a cowardly, disturbing act. We must find those responsible and hold accountable.”

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said city officials are working to discover who committed the attack.

“My heart breaks for the families who found their loved ones’ headstones toppled,” he said in a statement.  “We are doing all we can to find the perpetrators who desecrated this final resting place, and they will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.  Hate is not permissible in Philadelphia. I encourage Philadelphians to stand with our Jewish brothers and sisters and to show them that we are the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection.”

Area Muslims from the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA’s Philadelphia mosque  joined local Jews to help clean up the cemetery.

“They wanted to divide us. We united even more,” tweeted Kashif Chaudhry, a physician and Muslim activist.

“This is America,” read more than one response.

“This Jewish girl from Philly thanks Muslim community of Philly 4 standing w/us,” read another.

A candlelight vigil to support the Jewish community was held on Sunday night.

Vandalism at 3 New England synagogues aims to intimidate community, ADL regional leader says

Recent vandalism targeting three New England synagogues is aimed at intimidating the Jewish community, the director of the New England office of the Anti-Defamation League said.

Robert Trestan said the attacks at two synagogues in the Boston area and one in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, are part of a spike in anti-Semitic incidents in the region since the start of the year.

Trestan said there is no indication the recent incidents are related, but the short time frame and proximity stand out.

“To have three synagogues targeted in a week within 100 miles of each other, that’s a real concern,” Trestan told JTA. “People are intentionally going onto a property of worship to intimidate the community.”

He said the uptick in reported anti-Semitic incidents since the beginning of 2016 — particularly in schools, but also in the community — runs from harassment to graffiti.

“The incidents already reported to us this year exceed all of 2015, with school-based incidents experiencing the largest increase,” according to a spokesperson at the New England office.

The office could not disclose the exact numbers, but the figures will be part of a forthcoming report from the national ADL.

On May 22, a large swastika was discovered painted across the sign at Temple Ohawe Sholam, an Orthodox synagogue and the only one in Pawtucket, which borders Providence.

On the same day in Beverly, Massachusetts, the words “Merry Christmas” and a large dollar sign were discovered painted on the back walls of Temple B’nai Abraham, the only synagogue in the seaside town on the North Shore of Boston. The area includes towns with many Jewish institutions and synagogues.

On May 15, a swastika was discovered painted on the parking lot of Temple Emanuel in Andover, the largest Reform congregation in the city north of Boston.

“These are acts to intimidate Jews at sacred spaces,” Trestan said. “What’s next, if people are willing to spray paint at a house of worship, how far are they willing to go to spread a message?”

The incidents should not be dismissed because the weapon of choice was a can of spray paint, Trestan cautioned.

“The message of intimidation and hate is very strong,” he said.

In Pawtucket, the incident is being investigated as a hate crime. There was no surveillance video in the immediate vicinity and no arrests have been made, according to police.

At a news conference outside Temple Ohawe Sholam the morning after the grafitti was discovered, Pawtucket Mayor Donald Grebian condemned the anti-Semitic vandalism.

“This was clearly a heinous act that will not be tolerated,” Grebian said, adding: “We are treating this as a hate crime and will be very aggressive.”

At the news conference, Grebian and the police chief joined the synagogue’s rabbi and president, as well as others from the Rhode Island Jewish community and clergy from other religious groups.

“While these acts may have brought back the horror millions of people experienced, the immediate result has been an outpouring of compassion and many acts of kindness from the community,” synagogue president David Pliskin said.

The incident jarred synagogue members, including Irving Schild, a Holocaust survivor and one of the first to discover the swastika.

“It’s a shame,” Schild told the Providence Journal. “It’s been 70 years since the end of the Holocaust and it seems that no one has really learned anything from it. It looks like it’s starting all over again.

Within hours of discovering the swastika, drivers passing by were stopping to voice concern and support, according to Marty Cooper, community relations director of the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island. One Muslim woman offered to pay for replacing the sign, Cooper told JTA. He cited the support of the state’s 7-year-old interfaith organization and other religious organizations.

The Jewish Alliance is now exploring ways to provide security cameras to synagogues.

“Lots of shuls can’t afford the cameras. It’s a problem,” Cooper acknowledged.

Temple B’nai Abraham will hold a community forum on anti-Semitism on June 2 led by Trestan. Rabbi Alison Adler described the symbols painted on her synagogue as “stupid” rather than “vile.”

“But we are not painting over reactions or concerns,” she said in a statement.

Beverly Mayor Michael Cahill called for unity in standing against the hateful acts at the synagogue, saying in a statement “these criminal actions have no place in our society and no place in Beverly. We are all one.”

In another incident, on May 24, a swastika was found painted on the parking lot at a large stadium in Cranston, Rhode Island, 10 miles south of Pawtucket.

Swastikas drawn in University of Missouri dorm

Swastikas and anti-Semitic epithets were written in a stairwell of a dormitory at the University of Missouri in Columbia.

The two incidents occurred on the morning of April 9 and the evening of April 10. No suspects have been identified.

The writing was done in ash, such as from the end of a cigarette or a cigar, the Columbia Daily Tribune reported. The vandalism has been removed.

Neither the university nor police have released the contents of the epithets. University of Missouri police are investigating the incidents.

Chantelle Moghadam, co-founder of Students Supporting Israel, a new campus student organization, said in a statement that the graffiti included “a swastika, a symbol representing the ‘Illuminati,’ and the words ‘Heil’ and ‘You’ve been warned.’

“Our group wants to continue to bring awareness to campus about the fact that anti-Semitism still exists here,” Moghadam said.

She said the graffiti did not just target Jews.

“This goes to show that maybe we’re not as progressive and inclusive as we think we are as a campus,” she said.

Thalia Sass, president of the Jewish Student Organization, told the student newspaper, The Maneater, that it was difficult to be Jewish on campus during such incidents.

“I’m so proud to flaunt my Jewish identity, but when incidents like this happen, it’s scary,” said Sass, a junior. “This person doesn’t know me, but they hate me just because of the single aspect that I’m Jewish.”

Jewish cemetery in northern Hungary vandalized

Gravestones were vandalized in a Jewish cemetery in northern Hungary.

Up to 20 gravestones, including two crypts, were vandalized over the weekend in Gyongyos, the MTI-Hungarian News Agency Corp. reported Sunday, citing Peter Weisz, the leader of the local Jewish community. Tombstones were toppled and smashed, and human remains were removed from the crypts, according to reports.

The fence around the cemetery also was vandalized, Weisz told the Hungarian media.

On Sunday, one of the city’s deputy mayors visited the site and offered the city’s help to repair the damage, as did the Catholic Church, according to MTI.

The cemetery was similarly damaged in 2013.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban of Hungary called the attack a “barbaric act.”

The Jewish community of Gyongyos is comprised of about 80 people in a total city population of about 30,000.

Large Jewish cemetery in Warsaw is vandalized

The fence of a Jewish cemetery in Warsaw considered to be one of the largest in Europe was defaced.

The attack on the Okopowa Street cemetery took place on Saturday; the vandalism was discovered the next day. Burials are still held in part of the cemetery.

“Jews for slaughter” and the date 10.12.14 were spray-painted in red on the fence. The date is when Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal ruled that the ban on ritual slaughter was unconstitutional. Also, the cemetery gate was painted with yellow emulsion paint.

Cemetery director Przemyslaw Szpilman discovered the vandalism and immediately notified police. Szpilman said he does not know if the vandalism is an “immature prank or a political issue.”

“Such incidents do not happen very often,” he told JTA. “In 2013, someone painted a swastika on the wall of the cemetery, but for the last 12 years nothing like that has happened.”

Anna Chipczynska, president of the Jewish Community of Warsaw, said: “Less than a week after the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, we have to deal with the manifestation of hatred against Jews.  ‘Jews for slaughter’ is not only a humiliation that society cannot ignore, it is an invitation to violence and threats to which we should all be vigilant.”

Piotr Kadlcik, former president of the Union of Jewish Religious Communities in Poland, told JTA: “It is sad that the deceased perish for the decisions of the living.”

Spate of anti-Jewish, anti-Israel graffiti blankets Rome

Italian police are investigating a widespread spate of anti-Jewish and anti-Israel graffiti in Rome that local media speculate could be the joint work of left-wing and right-wing extremists.

Dozens of swastikas, slogans and posters were found spray-painted or plastered on walls and shop windows Monday in various parts of the city — as many as 70 or more in all.

They included slogans such as “Dirty Jews,” “Jews your end is near,” “Out with Zionists” and “Israel executioner.”

Some posters bore a swastika and the phrase “Anne Frank storyteller.” Other posters, apparently put up by a neo-fascist group, showed a Celtic cross and a Palestinian throwing a rock at an Israeli tank.

Jewish leaders, and local and state officials, strongly condemned the vandalism.

Rome Mayor Ignazio Marino called the affair shameful and “an insult to all Romans.” He expressed solidarity with the Jewish community, saying “Rome wants and must be the capital of dialogue and peace, and not the terrain of barbarism.” Interior Minister Angelino Alfano promised “maximum” efforts by law enforcement to identify the culprits and curb further outbreaks.

Synagogue, cars in North Miami vandalized with ‘Hamas’

A synagogue in North Miami Beach was vandalized with spray painted swastikas and the word “Hamas.”

The attack on Congregation Torah V’Emunah reportedly came early Monday morning, according to local reports.

The epithets were discovered slightly more than a day after cars owned by a Jewish family in Miami Beach were egged and smeared with cream cheese while the family attended Shabbat services at their local synagogue.

The vandals wrote “Jew” and “Hamas” on the back of the cars, parked in front of their home in a predominantly Jewish neighborhood of Miami Beach, according to the local CBS affiliate.

The family whose cars were attacked immigrated to the United States from Iran 25 years ago.

“Everyone was shocked,” said daughter Rachel Shakib.  “No one knew what was going on, we’re like this is America, this is Miami. Why would we be targeted here? We’re supposed to be safe, free from anti-Semitism.

Belfast synagogue vandalized on back-to-back days

A window was smashed on successive days at a synagogue in Belfast, Ireland.

The vandalism at the Belfast Hebrew Congregation took place on Friday night and the following day, the BBC reported. In the latter incident, the replacement window was shattered.

Police are treating the vandalism as a religious hate crime.

Ulster Unionist leader Mike Nesbitt said it was “totally unacceptable” for places of worship to be targeted, the BBC reported.

Gerry Kelly, a member of the legislative assembly, condemned the attack.

“There can be no place for attacks on any place of worship, regardless of the religion or denomination,” Kelly said, according to Belfast’s News Letter. “The local Jewish community makes a valuable contribution to our society and there is no justification for hate crimes.”

It was not clear whether the attack was related to Israel’s operation in the Gaza Strip.

Jerusalem-area monastery damaged in ‘price tag’ attack

A monastery near Jerusalem was vandalized in an attack that police believe is the work of right-wing extremists.

A firebomb thrown at the Beit Gemal Monastery caused minor damage, according to police. The words “price tag” also were spray-painted on the wall of the monastery.

The damage was discovered Wednesday morning.  The police unit for nationalist crimes is investigating.

Price tag refers to the strategy that extremist settlers and their supporters have adopted to exact retribution for settlement freezes and demolitions or Palestinian attacks on Jews. Several price tag attacks in recent months also have targeted Christian sites, however.

Philanthropist donates $250,000 to Mount Zion cemetery repair

Shlomo Rechnitz, a Los Angeles businessman and philanthropist, has donated $250,000 to restore the badly vandalized Mount Zion Cemetery in East Los Angeles. In addition, two other donors, real estate developer Izek Shomof and businessman Adi McAbian, each donated $25,000, and another real estate developer, Michael Fallas, gave $10,000, making possible some major initial repairs to the site, which has been damaged by intruders in recent years, including knocking over gravestones. The century-old cemetery is the gravesite for about 7,000 Jews.

Following these gifts and a site visit on May 30 by key community leaders, the first stage of the crumbling cemetery’s restoration is expected to begin in June.

Articles in the Jewish Journal and Los Angeles Times have raised awareness about the issue in recent weeks. Rabbi Moshe Greenwald, co-director of Chabad of Downtown Los Angeles, is leading the effort to restore the cemetery. 

The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles assumed responsibility for Mount Zion Cemetery in 1969 after its original owner, Chevra Chesed Shel Emeth, was no longer able to maintain it. In the past decade, Federation has provided annual support of about $25,000.

Rechnitz also made news in recent weeks when he purchased the beleaguered Doheny Glatt Kosher Meat Market after it was shuttered following a scandal about its former owner’s mishandling of kosher meats. Rechnitz visited Mount Zion Cemetery in late May for the first time after hearing from a concerned community member about the situation there. Rechnitz’s grandfather, Henry Rechnitz, is buried in the adjacent Agudas Achim Cemetery, just a few feet from Mount Zion. Rechnitz told the Journal that after viewing some of the destruction at the cemetery, he told Greenwald that he could not see any more and that he was ready to help.

“The situation there is nothing short of deplorable,” Rechnitz said in an interview. “We live in a city that features and showcases so many beautiful, lavish, prestigious homes, and when it comes to our dead we are centuries behind Europe.” He was referring to extensive efforts in Europe to restore and maintain Jewish cemeteries, many of which were desecrated during the Holocaust.

The damage at Mount Zion is so severe, Rechnitz said, that he took pictures to show to others whom he thinks may not believe that this could happen in a city like Los Angeles.

“When I looked at headstones being smashed and graffiti and bullet holes, and a lot of spaces where you could literally see into the grave, it was scary.”

On May 30, a group of rabbis and other Jewish community leaders visited the cemetery, marking a significant turning point in the restoration effort. Among those present were Jay Sanderson, president and CEO of The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles; Rabbi Elazar Muskin of Young Israel of Century City; Rabbi Kalman Topp of Beth Jacob Synagogue; Rabbi Boruch Sufrin of Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy; David Suissa, president of TRIBE Media Corp., parent company of the Jewish Journal; Rabbi Greenwald and others.

In early May, Sanderson and Federation Chief Operating and Financial Officer Ivan Wolkind said that Federation — which is the custodian of the property but does not own it — expressed concern that repair work should not start before enough money is raised to support the full restoration, out of concern that it might not be completed.  

Greenwald wants repair to begin immediately on the hundreds of damaged headstones, graves and ledgers, and to proceed as more donations come in — row by row, section by section. This, he told the group of visitors, is what consulted contractors recommended.

“All the monument companies said that they would have to do it area by area,” Greenwald told the group. “No one can put yellow tape around the entire cemetery and say, ‘OK — construction site.’ ”

Although there is still no agreement on when repairing the graves and headstones should begin, Greenwald and Sanderson both agree that the first work to be done will be to repair and secure the site’s perimeter fencing. That work, they hope, can begin in the coming weeks.

Currently, the fence surrounding the seven-acre cemetery is not high enough in some places to keep out intruders; in other areas, it is missing barbed wire,or, worst of all, is pierced with large holes. Greenwald expects the fence repair to cost anywhere from $40,000 to $50,000.

Local rabbis in attendance on May 30 all agreed that securing the perimeter is the most urgent priority, and that with $300,000 in the bank, work on this should begin as soon as possible. 

Rabbi Topp of Beth Jacob weighed in during the meeting, saying that the effort to protect the dignity of those resting at Mount Zion is a chesed shel emet, a true act of kindness, because those receiving the kindness cannot possibly return the favor. “Giving dignity to the deceased,” Topp said, “is something of the highest priority.”  

The sense of unity generated on May 30 and the monetary commitment by major figures to get the repair work started is, in all likelihood, largely the result of Rechnitz’s donation to Friends of Mount Zion Cemetery, the group led by Greenwald that is organizing the effort. 

Rechnitz’s gift, Sanderson told the Journal, “is potentially a game changer.” A condition of the $250,000 donation is that repair work begin immediately, Rechnitz said. 

In the past, Sanderson said during a recent interview, efforts to restore the cemetery have briefly popped up in the community, only to fizzle shortly thereafter. 

But with Rechnitz throwing his support behind the effort, and with momentum building among religious and lay leaders to secure the perimeter, maybe this time will be different. 

“It’s a great first step and it’s a first step that hasn’t been taken since we got into this situation,” Sanderson said. 

“It’s no longer just an idea,” Greenwald said.

For at least the past 10 years, Federation has given Home of Peace — a cemetery adjacent to Mount Zion — about $1,000 per month to perform routine maintenance on the cemetery, which opened in 1916. According to Wolkind, Federation spends approximately an additional $13,000 per year on other various projects for the cemetery. 

In an e-mail to the Journal on May 31, Sanderson wrote that Federation is committed to continuing its $25,000 annual allocation to Mount Zion. That amount, though, is not nearly enough to restore or, in the long term, maintain the cemetery, according to projections by Friends of Mount Zion Cemetery. Additional funds will have to come from other sources.

“Hopefully, other people in Los Angeles will get wind of the situation and will feel a responsibility as well,” Rechnitz said. “Now that people do know about it and as it gains publicity, I have full trust in the Jews of Los Angeles that they are all going to want to take part in fixing this problem.”

Based on estimates from several contractors, Greenwald thinks that a five-phase restoration of the cemetery will require about $675,000 and work on the site would take until at least the end of 2015. Maintaining the cemetery once it is restored will cost between $30,000 to $40,000 per year, he said. 

With Rechnitz’s donation and Federation’s existing annual commitment to the cemetery, Mount Zion’s 2015 target completion date appears possible.

Over the next few weeks, Greenwald, Federation and the rabbis who were at the May 30 meeting said they plan to meet with other local Jewish groups, including other Jewish cemeteries and synagogues, to try to raise awareness and funds for the restoration project.

“It’s a community dilemma and it should be a community solution,” Greenwald said. 

To donate to Friends of Mount Zion Cemetery, send checks, payable to “Friends of Mount Zion Cemetery,” to 219 W Seventh St., Suite 206, Los Angeles, CA 90014.

Stars of David ripped from Jewish tombstones in Milan

More than a dozen tombstones at the Jewish section of Milan's main cemetery were vandalized.

Vandals over the weekend tore off Stars of David decorating some 13 tombstones. Police in the northern Italian city are investigating.

The Milan Jewish community spokesman said it was too soon to tell whether anti-Semitism or “simple theft” was behind the vandalism. Thieves are known to steal metal decorative elements from cemeteries to melt down or sell as scrap.

Milan Mayor Giuliano Pisapia said he “forcefully condemned” the vandalism.

“For my part, I express solidarity to the families and to the entire Jewish community,” he said in a statement. “Every act of violence, every act of lack of respect, toward whatever religion or community, is a stain that must find the unanimous condemnation of the entire city.”

New Zealand Jewish grave vandal avoids prison

A New Zealand man who admitted to desecrating Jewish graves with anti-Semitic graffiti at a historic cemetery in Auckland avoided prison.

Robert Moulden, 19, was sentenced by Judge Russell Collins in Auckland District Court Wednesday to 320 hours of community service work. He was also ordered to pay about $2,500 in reparations.

Moulden pleaded guilty to a charge of willful damage in November. Another man, also accused of desecrating the cemetery, is fighting the charges.

During the sentencing, the judge said the community work should include work with Auckland Council's graffiti team.

More than a dozen headstones in the Jewish quarter of the Symonds St Cemetery were vandalized with swastikas, the numbers 88 – code for “Heil Hitler,”  and anti-Israeli slogans on Oct. 19.

The Jewish community offered restorative justice with Moulden. One family invited him for Shabbat dinner, and others offered financial assistance with his education.

“To your credit, you were willing to engage with the Jewish community and a more extraordinary outcome is the forgiving nature of the members of the Jewish community,” Judge Collins said.

“Their forgiveness of you needs to be admired considering how wounding and distressing your actions were.”

Auckland Council has spent about $10,000 on trying to repair the vandalism, but some of the vandalism is irreparable, according to local media, with the damage estimated to cost some $23,000.

Long Beach synagogue vandalized

Long Beach police are searching for a male suspect who threw a brick at the window of Temple Israel of Long Beach on Jan. 7. This was the second incident of vandalism at the Reform congregation, located at 269 Loma Ave., since the building reopened in October following a major renovation project.

“The reaction by staff was concern, frustration, that we had just moved back into a new building and this is the second incident of vandalism,” said Eric Shatzkin, executive director at Temple Israel. Shatzkin discovered the damage to the window while setting up for a staff meeting on the morning of Jan. 8.

Long Beach police have described the suspect as a “white male or Hispanic”; 20 to 30 years old; 5 feet 9 inches to 6 feet tall; wearing light-color cargo or basketball shorts; a long-sleeved, light-color jacket with a dark collar; a white T-shirt and dark-color sandals or shower shoes. The incident took place at approximately 11:30 p.m., police said.

Footage caught by the synagogue’s surveillance video shows the perpetrator approaching the synagogue from the street, throwing an object at the building, then running back toward the street. Long Beach police posted the video on their YouTube channel on Jan. 17.

The brick hit the eastern wall — the synagogue’s front entrance — causing a spider-web break to a first-floor, double-pane window that has an additional anti-graffiti protective film, Shatzkin said. The brick did not make it through the glass to the interior.

An alarm did not go off since there was not any damage to the interior, he said.

In November, another act of vandalism involved anti-Semitic graffiti—a swastika painted on Temple Israel’s exterior—and was not caught on video.

In addition to notifying police about this latest incident, the congregation contacted the Anti-Defamation League of Orange County/Long Beach and sent out an email update to its congregants.

Shatzkin believes that the two incidents could be the work of the same vandal.

“[We’re] hoping this doesn’t become an ongoing concern,” he said. “Hopefully it’s one perpetrator that they are able to catch now that they have one video.”

Anyone with information is urged to call Long Beach Police Department Detective Jackie Bezart at (562) 570-7250.

Watch Temple Israel's Jan. 7 surveillance video below:

Security guard arrested for vandalizing Memphis yeshiva’s Torahs at hotel

A Memphis yeshiva’s Shabbat retreat was disrupted when a hotel security guard was arrested for vandalizing Torah scrolls and other property belonging to the school.

Justin Shawn Baker, 24, an Iraqi War veteran living in Jackson, Tenn., was arrested and charged with vandalism between $60 and $250,000 — a Class B felony. His bail was set Monday at $100,000. Baker is an armed guard working for the Maxxguard security firm.

On Saturday morning, local police and later federal law enforcement were called to the DoubleTree Motel in Jackson to investigate damaged Torah scrolls, siddurs and music equipment belonging to the Margolin Hebrew Academy's Cooper Yeshiva High School.

Approximately 50 high school students and faculty from the school were spending Shabbat at the motel on their way to a ski trip in the Smoky Mountains.

A MySpace profile page belonging to Baker and one belonging to a woman who identifies herself as Baker’s wife both make references to Satan, though neither page has been in use for at least three years.

Two Jewish cemeteries, municipal building vandalized in France

French police reportedly are investigating fresh acts of vandalism in two Jewish cemeteries and a municipal building.

On Monday in Paris, police arrested two men suspected of digging up two corpses at the Pantin cemetery, according to a statement from the municipality. They were found to be in possession of a number of human teeth and are suspected of being gravediggers, the statement read.

In Avignon near Marseille, two plaques on the Jewish cemetery’s wall were bludgeoned on Nov. 22, according to 20minutes, a French news site. The plaques had been repaired from being smashed on Oct. 8. One plaque read “Jewish cemetery” and the other had a Star of David.

Olivier Tainturier, director general of the local municipality of Vaucluse, said his office was “planning to install video surveillance.”

The previous evening, “pro-Palestinian, anti-Semitic texts against Israel and the police” were discovered on the municipal theater of Neuilly-sur-Seine, a western suburb of Paris, according to the French television channel BFM. The report did not say what was spray-painted.

Jean-Christophe Fromantin, a deputy mayor, filed a complaint with police and had the graffiti, which he called “odious,” removed by the end of the week. A practicing Catholic, Fromantin has declared that the “return of the Jewish people to Israel was a miracle.”

Also Monday, SPCJ, the security unit of France’s Jewish communities, praised French authorities’ handling of the prosecution of a university student studying Islamic studies who threatened to start “another Shoah” in an email to a Jewish professor.

On Nov. 15, a court in Aix-en-Provence handed the unnamed man a one-year suspended sentence plus two years of probation.

In an email sent March 19, the day that a Muslim extremist killed four Jews in Toulouse, the man wrote to a Jewish professor of Hebrew and Jewish studies at the University of Provence, “When will you stop making us swallow your tragicomedies, the latest this morning? I don’t like taking orders and even less so from a Jew. That's enough now or I will make another Shoah.”

Moshe Dayan’s gravesite vandalized on yahrtzheit

The grave of Moshe Dayan was vandalized on the anniversary of the former Israeli defense minister's death.

Graffiti reading “The minister of failure, on behalf of the fallen” was painted in red on Dayan's gravestone early Tuesday morning, 31 years since the date of his death.

A memorial service was held at the site in the military section of Nahalal cemetery in northern Israel on Oct. 14.

The Defense Ministry in a statement issued Tuesday “strongly” condemned the attack. The ministry said it sent members of its Unit for the Commemoration of the Soldier to repair the gravestone.

Dayan served as defense minister during the 1973 Yom Kippur War. He also served as chief of staff for the Israel Defense Forces from 1953 to 1958.