Holding Antisemites Accountable.

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Swastika, Antisemitic Graffiti Found at Cleveland Jewish Learning Center


Update: A third suspect, Gabe Truitt, 20, has been arrested; more here.

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Update: Bo Briele Truitt, 23, of Beachwood has been arrested and charged with ethnic intimidation, inducing panic, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and criminal charging. A minor, age 16, has also been arrested and a third person involved has a warrant issued our for his arrest. More here.

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A swastika and graffiti were found on four buildings, including Jewish Learning Connection, near Cedar and South Green roads in University Heights on Sunday July 26th. The swastika was found on a wall of the Friedman, Leavitt & Associates, Inc. building at 2193 S. Green Road.

Graffiti was found on walls of Jewish Learning Connection which is based at The Waxman Torah Center at 2195 S. Green Road and at Mika’s Wig Boutique & Spa at 2199 S. Green Road. Graffiti was also found on an exterior door at Heinen’s at 2180 S. Green Road, directly across the street.

David Leavitt, a co-partner at Friedman, Leavitt, told the Cleveland Jewish News he learned of the swastika and graffiti by one of his employees who arrived for work.

He said the other image was “a giant penis with a 666.” That number is associated with the devil.

Friedman Leavitt owns the building and has been at that location for 30 years without incident. “I think it a sad world we live in, so much hate,” Leavitt said. “It just makes me feel bad about the world. I don’t know why people need to hate. If everybody would just love each other, we would be a much better place.

A University Heights Police Department spokesperson told the Cleveland Jewish News it is investigating and will be reviewing surveillance video.

Rabbi Yossi Nisenbaum arrived about 8 a.m. at JLC. “The swastika wasn’t on our building, it was on the building right next to us like 5 feet away, facing us,” he said. “We’re assuming it was intended toward us because we’re the Jewish center there. And on the other side, something about G-d is something, but I couldn’t exactly make out the words. There were other things, curse words. It looked like they were running out of spray paint.”

He said one of his congregants who works in the construction industry removed the swastika and some graffiti.

“We’re pretty concerned, it’s pretty scary,” Nisenbaum said. “It’s not a common thing to find on a synagogue.”