A giant sand-sculpted menorah by the Juno Beach Pier has been destroyed and defaced with a swastika, according to Rabbi Leib Ezagui with the Jewish Community Synagogue.
A beachgoer took a photo of the vandalism Tuesday morning and called police. She said it made her sick to her stomach.
Ezagui released the following statement:
“Today, our beautiful menorah was destroyed. While I am thankful for the 5 days it lasted and the thousands of people who enjoyed its art, love and message, I am sad, angry and not sure how to gather my thoughts that once again hate had its way in Palm Beach County. Our dream of hope and peace was shattered once again! The Menorah is our symbol of hope and resilience. Mr. hate: your actions may have targeted this symbol, but the resilience of the menorah and the Jewish community will shine brighter. We’ll rebuild, and next year, another sandcastle menorah will stand tall.”
The sand-sculpted menorah was built last week and the lighting took place Thursday on the first night of Hanukkah. More than 600 people attended the lighting.
Now it is a pile of sand.
The community is invited to the menorah site site Wednesday evening. Residents are asked to bring their menorahs for a community lighting.
“Bring your menorah, and let’s all light together,” Ezagui said. “We will blind this dumb coward’s actions with our unity and good deeds.”
Ike Jacobson, a board member with the synagogue, got a call about the act Tuesday morning.
“It’s really sad. … I’m not surprised but there was a part of me that was expecting it because of what’s going on,” he told WPTV reporter Joel Lopez.
Jacobson said hate against Jews isn’t new but it has increased since the start of the war between Israle and Hamas in October.
“No matter what you do we’re here,” he said. “We’re are not going anywhere and we are going to come back stronger and more important.”
Christina Marsh is upset what happened to the menorah.
“Especially with everything going on overseas it is very special,” she told Lopez. “To come to our beach and see something so beautiful and have it destroyed is just heartbreaking. Heartbreaking with everything happening in the world.”