Florida synagogue vandalized on eve of Rosh Hashana

Local media reported that a vandal spray-painted expletives on the building of the Chabad of Parkland on Saturday.

A South Florida synagogue was vandalized on the eve of Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year.

The person or people responsible also wrote graffiti that read “Free Palestine” on the synagogue’s front sign and spray-painted the number “12” on the building, which is often used as a derogatory term for police.

Rabbi Shuey Biston called the act a hate crime and said the graffiti was written to try to intimidate the Jewish community.

A member of the synagogue said this is clearly anti-Semitism. “It is a hate crime. Hopefully, they’ll catch the person,” he said.

Parkland Mayor Michael Udine says graffiti with hateful language also was found in other parts of the city. “We were shocked and sickened by this because the Chabad, they are our neighbors and our friends,” he told Miami’s 7News.

The Broward Sheriff’s Office is investigating.

A group gathered at the synagogue to erase the hate messages.

Biston, on his Facebook page, thanked Mayor Udine, the Sherriff and all those who called and all those who came to the synagogue to help clean up.

“We are truly blessed to live in such a warm and caring community. Our response to ignorance and hatred has always been to add some positive light and good deeds. On this Rosh Hashana I encourage everyone in the community to pray for a year of peace and love and kindness toward each other. Shana Tova,” he wrote.

By: World Israel News Staff
AP contributed to this report.