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Michigan Chabad Defaced with Swastikas and Antisemitic Messages

UPDATE December 9, 2023: A 27-year-old man accused of spray-painting hate speech graffiti around Kalamazoo has been arrested in Arizona; Jaifeng Chen was taken into federal custody; more here.

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A community is standing together in the face of antisemitism.

On the night of Nov. 17, vandals spray-painted swastikas on the property of Chabad of Kalamazoo near downtown, according to Rabbi Mordechai Haller.

“A little bit of light pushes away a lot of darkness,” Rabbi Haller said. “This was an act of darkness, there’s a lot of darkness in the world. The way that we fight is we start with light.”

The images were painted on the side of the building and on Chanukah decorations that were placed on the front yard.

Concerned community members stepped up and helped clean up the hateful imagery on Sunday afternoon around 4 p.m.

Rabbi Haller lead the group in prayer, offering words of encouragement.

“We do good things and positive things and in the long-run, the light prevails,” Rabbi Haller said. “They’re not going to push us away…if anything, they’re going to make us stronger.”

Rabbi Haller and his wife, Dobroshe, are grateful for the community support and love.

“Thank you for the outpouring of love and support,” Dobroshe Haller, wife of Rabbi Haller, said in a statement. “We will try to remove the graffiti and pray together for our brothers and sisters in the holy land and for peace everywhere; including here and Kalamazoo.”

Source: https://wwmt.com/news/local/anti-semitic-vandals-spray-paint-swastikas-local-synagogue-hate-jewish-crime-clean-up-community-kalamazoo-michigan-violence