Synagogue vandalized, menorah stolen in 2 separate incidents in California

A synagogue in Santa Monica was the target of a revolting hate crime on Chanukah, while in San Francisco, a menorah was stolen, although the latter may have been a criminal act. Police are investigating.

On the first day of Chanukah, Chabad Rabbi Boruch Rabinowitz discovered that the front window of his Santa Monica synagogue, near the menorah display, had been smeared with feces and rice, the LA Times (LAT) reported. The repulsive act of vandalism, carried out overnight Sunday, did not feature anti-Semitic messages, but, of course, a repugnant picture is worth a thousand words.

At the Chabad Living Torah Center on Wilshire Boulevard, they obviously suspect this was a full blown anti-Semitic act.

“This seems kind of intentional,” Assistant Rabbi Dovid Tenenbaum told the LAT Sunday morning. “With a religious artifact in the window, we have to assume so.”

Rabbi Rabinowitz, who arrived at the synagogue shortly before 8 AM Sunday, alerted the Santa Monica police, who came and recorded the incident, but so far there are no witnesses to the crime. Now the synagogue is going to install a security camera.

The Rabbi said he believes this was a targeted hate crime, since the other businesses on the street had not been vandalized, and then there’s the timing, at the start of Chanukah.

“It’s so sad that at this time people should feel that they want to express themselves in such a negative way,” he said.

According to the LAT, there have been a few anti-Semitic incidents at the Chabad synagogue. A month ago, during services, a man stood up outside, raised his arm and shouted “Heil, Hitler,” but he ran away before the congregants could catch him. A year ago, a letter was dropped in the synagogue mailbox, adorned with a swastika, which read: “Get out of here, you Jews.” A year and a half ago, on Sukkot, anti-Semitic graffiti was scrawled on the synagogue’s Sukkah.

Menorah Stolen in San Francisco

In another incident in California, albeit not necessarily a hate crime, a six-foot tall, 100-pound menorah belonging to the local Chabad Jewish outreach organization was reported stolen from San Francisco’s Washington Square Park on Sunday, the San Francisco Gate reported.

As per the Jewish lunar calendar, it was lit the evening before, after sunset, marking the first day of Chanukah.

“We didn’t think somebody could make off with something that big,” Miryum Mochkin, co-director of the North Beach branch of Chabad, told the Gate, adding that Chabad considers it a hate crime.

Local police, however, believe it was stolen by metal recyclers, rather than being an act of anti-Semitism.

“Metal recyclers are asked to be on the lookout for anyone attempting to sell large … pieces as recycled metal,” said Sgt. Michael Andraychak

By: and World Israel News