Holding Antisemites Accountable.

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California Jewish Center Defaced for Second Time within One Month

Two acts of vandalism at a Chabad synagogue in Oakland in the last month. The rabbi is asking city leaders to do more to protect the Jewish community from antisemitism attacks.

“This cement block was used two weeks ago and it was thrown at that first window there on the right and this was from this past Saturday morning,” said Chabad Jewish Center Rabbi Dovid Labkowski of Oakland.

Labkowski says the Jewish center on Lakeshore Avenue has been vandalized twice in two weeks. The latest happening just after midnight on Saturday.

Both times were caught on video.

“This time was with full force,” Labkowski said. “Smashed through the first layer of glass. It’s very upsetting. I’m outraged from it because this could have been prevented. Antisemitism has gone up about 300%.”

You can barely see the damage from the outside, but inside, one of the windowpanes is severely cracked.

“Just to replace that one pane of glass it’ll be about 10 grand,” Labkowski said, adding he called police to file a report.

“I called the police department this morning, and they wouldn’t even send over units. They said go online and fill out a form,” he said.

Rabbi Labkowski says they installed bullet-resistant windows two months ago to protect people attending services and the Hebrew school there.

“We have armed security every Saturday,” Labkowski said. “We have bullet-resistant windows. We are at a loss of what to do more. What do you do more? Do you put up cement walls?”

Labkowski says this needs to be investigated as a hate crime — not just as vandalism. The Oakland Police Department confirmed Monday that that both acts are being investigated as hate crimes.

But the rabbi says he’s feeling hopeless as there still haven’t been any arrests for the vandalism that destroyed the Lake Merritt Menorah in December.

“There was an eyewitness and yet nothing happened,” Labkowski said. “Not with police, not with the FBI, not the mayor’s office. They all called it a hate crime, and we haven’t seen anyone arrested. And it’s just like antisemitism is not being taken seriously.”

Labkowski says antisemitic attacks have shaken up his community.