Police in Baltimore are investigating recent vandalism at a synagogue as a possible hate crime.
The incident happened overnight Sunday into Monday at the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation in Pikesville, synagogue officials said on Thursday.
Rabbi Andrew Busch said two signs at the corner of Park Heights Avenue and Slade Avenue were slashed. The signs said “We stand with the people of Israel” and “Bring the hostages home.”
The synagogue’s facilities and operations coordinator, Edwin Chittum, said he found the signs vandalized around 6 a.m. Monday morning.
I don’t know who would want to be out in that weather on Sunday night, it was nasty outside,” said Chittum. “It took somebody that was nasty to come out in nasty weather to do that.”
Busch told WBFF that it’s possible the vandals were trying to send a message as the crime was committed during Hanukkah.
“I think someone clearly slashed with some anger,” said Busch.
The signs were replaced during a public gathering outside of the synagogue on Thursday morning.
“It was very disturbing getting that phone call [Monday morning],” said Busch. “I have to be honest given the atmosphere in this country, it was disturbing, not totally shocking.”
According to Baltimore County Police, there were 125 hate/bias cases between January 2023 and November 2023; there were 93 hate/bias cases throughout all of 2022.