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Antisemitic Graffiti Found at Washington D.C. Prominent Synagogue

“Washington Hebrew Congregation discovered graffiti, including anti-Israel and hate-filled messages, on our Temple facility,” the temple wrote in an email to its members on Friday evening, noting that it was in close contact with the Metropolitan Police Department and more about the vandalism. “While this a disturbing incident, there is no immediate or direct threat to our community.”

A police report describes how a temple security guard discovered graffiti written in black permanent marker on the Macomb Street building’s rear doors and bricks, including “numerous anti-Semitic statements, profane language, and child-like drawings of male and female genitalia.” The report notes that the incident is being investigated as a potential anti-Jewish hate crime.

While the graffiti was found on Friday morning, per the report, a review of surveillance footage found that the incident occurred one week before that. The security guard also works as a D.C. police officer.

The investigation remains open and police are working with Washington Hebrew to identify suspects, according to MPD spokesperson Alaina Gertz.

Washington Hebrew, which was founded in 1852 in the Reform Judaism tradition, is one of D.C.’s most prominent temples. The synagogue has been in the news for a lawsuit over allegations of sexual abuse at its preschool. It has also been the site of previous suspected anti-Semitic hate crimes.

Shortly after the deadly mass shooting at the Pittsburgh Tree of Life synagogue in late October 2018, someone called the temple and told the receptionist, “I’m so glad that 11 people died at the other temple. I wanted you to know,” reported the Washington Post.

That phone call was one of 17 suspected anti-Semitic hate crimes in D.C. in 2018, according to Post analysis. The bulk of those incidents included graffiti of swastikas, the paper found.

Through the end of September of this year, MPD has classified four incidents as hate crimes with a religious bias, according to data compiled by local law enforcement.

“We stand ever vigilant against all acts of hate and bigotry,” says Jennifer Millstone, the director of communications at Washington Hebrew, in an emailed statement. “As we reject intolerance, we remain committed to ensuring the safety and security of all who enter our facilities.”

Source: https://dcist.com/story/19/10/21/hate-filled-graffiti-discovered-at-washington-hebrew-congregation/