Baltimore County Police are investigating two cases of vandalism at synagogues after banners in support of Israel and a display of Israel’s flag were found cut up on Friday.
For one of the synagogues, it’s the second time such an incident has happened within the past few weeks.
WJZ was outside of Baltimore Hebrew Congregation on Dec. 14 when signs supporting Israel were unveiled. They replaced a set of signs that were vandalized.
Now, the replacements need to be replaced. Baltimore County Police are investigating the damage. They’ll be checking footage from recently placed cameras across the street from the signs and canvassing the neighborhood.
For Jewish leaders, this new vandalism was a disappointing thing to see.
“I know our broader community is better than this,” Howard Libit, the executive director of the Baltimore Jewish Council, said. “I’m really disappointed the actions of a few make the whole community look bad. We are a community that comes together in times like this, that stands against hate.”
Not even a mile away at Suburban Orthodox Congregation, the Israeli flag on display was found to be slashed Friday morning, too.
Rabbi Shmuel Silber said this is the first time this has happened for the synagogue, but congregants have been targeted with slurs and other antisemitic incidents lately.
Silber said this only empowers them.
“If you’re watching, you have not done anything to weaken our resolve,” he said. “If you’re watching, the people who perpetrated this cowardly act, you’ve just made us stronger.”
Over the past year, Baltimore County Police have received more than 90 verified reports of hate/bias cases.
Baltimore Hebrew Congregation’s Rabbi Andrew Busch said their doors are always open for dialogue.
“There are lots of ways to disagree with things; to vandalize someone else’s property is not an acceptable way of arguing someone else’s point,” Busch said.
If you know anything about either case of vandalism, contact the Baltimore County Police at 410-307-2020 or 410-887-1279.
Police plan to increase patrols in the area for the time being.