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Northeast Synagogue Targeted By Anti-Semitic Vandalism

June 24, 2014 By:
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Congregations of Ner Zedek. Photo by Bruce Wartell.

Members of the synagogue of Congregations of Ner Zedek who arrived for daily morning minyan on Monday, June 23, found two large spray-painted swastikas on the outside of the building. 

“As we know, unfortunately, in the world we live in, although we all want to try and get along with each other, it doesn't always happen that way," Rabbi Reuben Israel Abraham told myfoxphilly.com.

The incident was not the first of its kind for the Conservative synagogue located in Northeast Philadelphia. According to a source familiar with the synagogue, there was a similar swastika spray-painting episode a few years ago, and earlier this year a rock was thrown through one of the building's glass panels.

The Anti-Defamation League’s annual audit of anti-Semitic incidents in 2013 showed an upswing from 2012 and there have already been a number of attacks in 2014 — notably the spray-painting of a swastika at the Holocaust memorial at the intersection of 16th Street and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in March.

“Clearly, we can scrub with soap and water a swastika or another hate symbol off a building, but it’s a lot harder to erase the fear that’s caused by the act,” said Nancy Baron-Baer, ADL’s interim regional director. “A synagogue is a place where people should come to feel safe.”

Police are scanning security cameras in an effort to identify the perpetrators of the crime.

"I have a number of Holocaust survivors here in my congregation," Abraham told myfoxphilly.com, "and if they see something like this, of course, it brings back all sorts of terrible memories of what they went through.”

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