Antisemitic vandals target menorahs across America

Menorahs destroyed or vandalized in California, Florida, Maryland, New York, Illinois, and Connecticut.

By World Israel News Staff

In separate incidents across the U.S., at least seven menorahs were destroyed or vandalized during the eight-day festival of Chanukkah.

In one incident in the San Francisco Bay Area, an eleven-foot tall menorah erected by the local Chabad house was torn down, destroyed, and thrown into a lake in Oakland.

The menorah, which had been set up by the Chabad Jewish Center of Oakland, was found in Lake Merritt on Wednesday, apparently hours after it had been destroyed at the nearby amphitheater.

“It makes me feel angry that this would happen in Oakland, a place with so much diversity,” Rabbi Dovid Labkowski, director of the Chabad Jewish Center of Oakland, told The Oaklandside. “It’s a place we want to live together in peace.”

On Thursday, a large crowd gathered at the Lake Merritt Amphitheater as a new menorah was installed and lit to mark the final night of Chanukkah.

“This is our response to hate,” said Rabbi Labkowski. “You can break our menorah into pieces but you cannot break our Jewish spirit. We are united. We are proud. We are strong!”

“After the horrible desecration and destruction of the annual Menorah at Lake Merritt, we came together to spread light through the Car Menorah Parade and Lighting of a new Menorah at the Lake with 400 people.”

“We heard words of strength and inspiration from our Oakland rabbis and dignitaries. We are living in challenging times, but together we persevere, rebuild and thrive. Rest assured, next year’s menorah will be ever bigger and better. Am Yisrael Chai!”

In New Haven, Connecticut, a vandal placed a Palestine Liberation Organization flag on a 30-foot menorah.

A menorah built out of sand, commissioned by the Jewish Community Synagogue in North Palm Beach, Florida was destroyed and defaced with a swastika.

Two menorahs publicly displayed in Brooklyn were both damaged in two separate incidents, with two addition menorahs vandalized in Olney, Maryland – a suburb of Washington D.C. – and Chicago suburb Northbrook.