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Synagogue Vandalized with ‘Jude’ Graffiti in Wisconsin

Anti-Semitic graffiti was found Sunday spray-painted on the Beth Israel Sinai Congregation, 3009 Washington Ave. in Racine, Wisconsin.

The graffiti — which included a swastika, the rune “S” symbol associated with Nazi Secret Service (or Schutzstaffel), and the word “JUDE,” which is the German word for Jew — was found by members of the congregation on Sunday.

As of Monday morning, the red paint still remained on the building, including on the glass back entrance and brick outer walls.

Rabbi Martyn Adelberg, who has served the Beth Israel Sinai Congregation for almost 20 years, told The Journal Times that “to the best of my knowledge, nothing like this has ever happened before.”

In summer 2010, three teens allegedly painted racial slurs and swastikas on a fence that belonged to an interracial couple in Raymond. All three teens pleaded guilty to hate crimes: one to felony criminal damage to property, the second to felony graffiti and the third to misdemeanor criminal damage to property.

The synagogue was first established here in the 1920s, according to its website. It’s a small congregation with only 25 to 30 members, said Congregation President Joyce Placzkowski.

“I think whoever did this is just stupid,” Placzkowski, who was one of the first people to find the graffiti, told The Journal Times on Monday afternoon. “I was just angry at the beginning. Now it’s just sadness. How can any person have such hatred for people they don’t even know?”

Placzkowski said that, in the 24 hours since she found the vandalism, she has received only positive responses from friends and neighbors, with several people offering to come over to help clean it off. The congregation is also considering changing its security measures as a result of the incident.

The Beth Israel Sinai Congregation is planning a service at 6:15 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 29. In a Facebook post encouraging the public to attend, the Racine Interfaith Coalition called on those in the community to “show support for our brothers and sisters of faith.”

Prentiss Robbins, RIC’s full-time organizer, said in a statement to The Journal Times: “Sad men often hate each other because they fear each other, because they don’t know each other. (And) they don’t know each other because they cannot communicate,” Robbins said.

Placzkowski said that the words “I Jude KOS” were written on the building in Sharpie. She said that the officer who responded to the synagogue told her that the letters KOS could stand for “Knights of Satan,” which is a gang that may have a presence in Racine.

To share information with police regarding the incident, contact the Racine Police Detective Bureau at 262-635-7756. To remain anonymous and be eligible for a cash reward, contact Crime Stoppers at 262-636-9330.

Source: https://journaltimes.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/anti-semitic-graffiti-found-on-racine-synagogue/article_45092379-e7e4-5d6f-a62e-7dd91eb13836.html