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Moscow Police Arrest Man for Antisemitic Vandalism at Jewish Educational Center


Police in Moscow arrested a man on Thursday for vandalizing the offices of a Russian Jewish organization in an antisemitic attack.

According to eyewitness reports, the man — who had been drinking heavily — arrived at the headquarters of the SHAMIR center, a Jewish educational institute in eastern Moscow that serves a community of 20,000 Jews.

The man shouted antisemitic epithets as he attempted to break through the door of the building. When he failed to do so, he reportely broke the SHAMIR nameplate on the mailbox and then toppled a large decorative menorah. He also did minor damage to the rabbi’s car before being arrested.

Jewish community members locked their doors and alerted law enforcement who detained the vandal at the local police station.

Rabbi Berel Tsisin — director of SHAMIR — said in a statement that it was rare for the community to experience antisemitic hate crimes.

“SHAMIR has not had any interaction with the individual prior to the attack and such incidents have not occurred in the community since the early 2000s,” Tsisin said.  “We expect the attacker’s motives to be well studied and that he will be punished.”