Police arrest suspect who vandalized historic Washington, DC Synagogue

The word ‘JEW’ was carved into a door and swastikas were scrawled on a staircase.

By World Israel News Staff

A suspect involved in the vandalization of a famous Washington, D.C. synagogue was arrested on Monday, reports the Washington Post.

According to the report, D.C. police spokesman Hugh Carew said that Luis Montsinos, 28, of no fixed address, has been arrested for defacing the historic Sixth and I synagogue.

The word “JEW” was carved into a door and swastikas were scrawled on a staircase, the report says.

On Monday, the synagogue’s clergy notified the congregants via email of the incident.

“While the damage to the building is minimal and will be fixed quickly, events like this can throw even the toughest person into a tailspin. Given the current climate, we unfortunately are not surprised by this happening. In these moments, it’s important to remember that it is not a shame but an honor to be a Jew. We can and will respond to this hateful act with open doors, in resilience and spirit, living Jewish lives of joy, optimism, and pride,” the email said.

A congregant took to Twitter on Monday to express her dismay.

“I am devastated to learn that my beloved @SixthandI was victimized and defaced with antisemitic Graffiti this past Shabbat. I have no words for what this place means to me. My husband converted there. Rabbi Shira married us. My daughter was named there. I am distraught,” Carly P. tweeted.

In addition to services, the non-denominational synagogue hosts a wide range of famous personalities, such as Jim Gaffigan, Tina Fey and former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

Anti-Semitism is on the rise in the United States.

In April, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) released its annual census of U.S. anti-Semitic incidents.

It counted 1,879 anti-Semitic incidents — either harassment, vandalism or physical assault — in 2018. That is a 5 percent decrease from the 1,986 incidents reported in 2017, but the third-highest total since ADL began tracking the data in the 1970s.

The 2017 number marked a 57 percent increase over 2016 and was the highest tally ADL had counted in more than two decades.