Alan Steckman, the President of the Adas Israel Synagogue in Mason City, Iowa, was shocked to discover that an ominous antisemitic voicemail message was sent to the Synagogue over the weekend.
Steckman played the message back on Sunday, in which a caller says “We gonna spray your sh—y synagogue in pigs blood. Watch the f—— out.”
As nobody answered the phone, the call was automatically forwarded to his home phone’s voicemail.
Steckman said that the message was “unnerving”, saying that whilst it would not normally bother him much, against the context of persistent and rising antisemitism in the country, it is more worrying.
The call carries the clear threat of desecration of the Synagogue, and is obviously calculated to suggest that, but telling them to “watch the f*ck out” could easily constitute a physical threat too.
It is a small community, with a weekly attendance of around 10-12 Jews from the City, as well as 3 Christians who also attend.
Michael Libbie, who leads services at the congregation, commented that “in light of so many hate crimes going on in the U.S., we do take things like this seriously.”
“I have been coming to Mason City to conduct services for the past 29 years. We usually have services once a month on Friday night and then have Bible study on Saturday. I also do weddings and funerals for them. “
“The really interesting thing about this is that I am coming to Mason City this Friday. We are studying the Book of Esther and the Festival of Purim. It is the study of Jews being targeted for destruction and the rising up against evil for all time.”
The police have been contacted about the message and are investigating.