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Georgia Jewish Center Window Smashed by Vandals

The leader of a local synagogue is vowing to “take the darkness into the light” after someone hurled a rock through his community center.

DeKalb Police responded to the Decatur Jewish Center on March 18 around 2:15 p.m. The center is located on North Decatur Road.

“Once on scene, officers met with the complainant, who advised that a rock had been thrown through the window,” a police spokesperson said. “No notes or signs were located with the rock. The incident is under investigation, so this is all that I have at this time.”

The center opened this year and has hosted what the Rabbi described as “visible Jewish events.” There was no security camera footage of the suspect. The rock, wrapped in a bag, went through the front window and landed by the office desk.

Rabbi Avremi Slavaticki told Decaturish that while he can’t be certain that there was hateful intent behind the destructive act, given the recent tensions surrounding the Israel-Hamas War and the circumstances — nothing was stolen — he suspects it was a targeted attack on his community.

Tensions surrounding the war have resulted in attacks against Jews and Muslims.

“Obviously, you can never know 100%, but unfortunately, with everything going on…,” Slavaticki said.

Slavaticki asked the police to return the rock and broken glass.

“We’re going to make a piece of art out of it. We’re not going to let it bring us down,” he said. “We’re going to take the darkness into light.”

Slavaticki provided the following statement on behalf of the center:

The Decatur Jewish Center opened at the beginning of 2024, and in the short time since, there has been a number of events celebrating Jewish faith and practice in the community. Throwing the large rock into the window of the Decatur Jewish Center was an act of destruction and vandalism and very possibly a hate crime. We respond to darkness by adding light, ugliness by adding beauty, and hatred by gathering to celebrate heritage with pride and joy. Our goal is not to let it disrupt the streak of activities, services and community togetherness, but to build on it and grow from the experience.

To that end, we have asked the police to return the rock when they are finished processing it as evidence, and we are saving the broken shards of glass so that we can create pieces of art that will tell the story of our community’s love, light and resilience. We are thankful to everyone who has reached out with love and support over the past few days. For those who would like to help, have a campaign to raise funds to repair the windows, upgrade our security systems, and enhance the facility. Jewishdecatur.raisegiving.com

https://decaturish.com/2024/03/dekalb-police-investigate-vandalism-of-decatur-jewish-center/