Desecration Everyday Antisemitism Featured Medium Vandalism Ξ Channels Ξ E-mail Ξ Social Media

Several public menorahs vandalized over Chanukah

Several public Chanunikiyot, or Chanukah Menorahs have been vandalized in several locations internationally as Jewish communities celebrate the festival of Chanukah.

A menorah in Kiev was vandalized and was doused with what police believe may be pig’s blood. This comes a mere month after a Jewish community in the city was vandalized with graffiti reading “death to the kikes”.

A nine foot Menorah in Seattle was destroyed and dragged to a park. The menorah was later reconstructed. Rabbi Yoni Levitin called the act “extreme disturbing”, saying it has “no place” in the community.

In Illinois, at least two students are facing charges for vandalizing a Chabad house’s Menorah.

In two days time, four students of Penn State University will appear at court accused of destroying a public Menorah and leaving its debris outside of a Jewish fraternity. The incident took place last month, as the frame of the Menorah is left up all year.

Each Chanukah there are multiple reports of Chanukiyot being vandalized by antisemites. They often target those put up by the Chabad movement, who often erect large public displays in Jewish areas.

Arts Desecration Europe Everyday Antisemitism Featured Location Medium Poland Ξ Channels Ξ E-mail Ξ Social Media

Polish “artists” display video showing a naked game of tag filmed in actual Nazi gas chamber

Several Jewish groups, including the Organisation of Holocaust Survivors in Israel and the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, have written to the Polish President to demand an explanation as to why a lewd video was allowed to be filmed inside a former Nazi gas chamber.

The video was filmed by a group of artists and displayed in 2015, drawing criticism from Jewish groups. Whilst it depicted a game of tag in a gas chamber, the shooting location was not disclosed, and many assumed it was done in a studio. After an investigation, it was discovered that the video was filmed in the actual gas chambers of Stutthof concentration camp. The gas chambers were added in 1943, and 65,000 people were killed in the camp, including 28,000 Jews.

The joint statement reads:

“At the time, no comment or word of critique was heard from Polish official sources regarding the video, neither from the Prime Minister’s office, nor from any official/ government representative- not Poland’s Ministry of Culture or Foreign Ministry, or from Krakow’s city mayor”

“Extensive research recently revealed that the site where the video was filmed is the gas chamber at the Stutthof concentration camp, and it is this discovery which prompted the demand for clarifications from the Polish leaders and the administration of the Stutthof concentration camp site (and museum)”

The letter demands information as to whether the artists were able to “obtain permission from the Stutthof administrators to make this video, what rules exist for proper conduct at the site, how these are enforced”.

In 2015, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow appeared to be dishonest when questioned by Jewish groups, removing the exhibition as they reassured the Jewish community, before immediately reinstating it. Astonishingly, the exhibition to which it belonged was originally sponsored by the Israeli embassy, who condemned it and withdrew their support once the nature of the display became apparent.

The filming of a video by a group of “artists” in gas chambers, a location that epitomises the sheer evil of the Nazi death machine, displays a manifest, brazen disregard for the victims of the Nazi Holocaust, both Jewish and non-Jewish.  The pressing questions that have been asked in this letter remain unanswered, and steps must immediately be taken to ensure that the memory of those who were murdered by the Nazis is not desecrated further.

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Youths arrested for desecrating “hundreds” of tombs in historic Jewish cemetery in France

Five youths were arrested in Alsacia for the desecration of hundreds of tombs in the Jewish cemetery of Sarre-Union, France.

The youths, understood to be between the ages of 15 and 17, allegedly destroyed or damaged 250 out of the 400 tombs found in the cemetery, many of which were constructed in the 18th century. In the majority of cases, the tombstones were knocked to the floor, several of which were broken in the process. Additionally, they wrecked a monument raised at the entrance of the cemetery, dedicated to the remembrance of those who lost their lives in the Holocaust.

Those who were arrested had no prior convictions, and the police took to investigating,
“what on earth was going through their minds” to commit such a crime.

The five youths allegedly carried out the antisemitic act during the week. However, it wasn’t until the weekend that the desecration of the cemetery was discovered. The group, even the younger members, face a possible sentence of six years in prison.

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Graves of anti-Nazi fighters and Jews desecrated in Germany

Several graves of anti-Nazi fighters and Jews were desecrated between Wednesday and Thursday last week in Südwestkirchhof, Stahnsdorf, Germany.

Among the graves desecrated was the family grave of Joachim Gottschalk, who famously refused to be separated from his Jewish wife and their son by the Nazi government. The family committed suicide in 1941 after a campaign of intimidation by the Nazis. Slurs were apparently written on the grave site.

A commemorative plaque to resistance fighters who fought against the Nazis was also destroyed. As well as this, a plaque commemorating the resistance fighter Richard Huttig, who was executed by the Nazis, was damaged.

Decorations on a grave of a Jewish family were also damaged.

Despite the damaged graves being clearly linked, being obvious targets for antisemites and neo-Nazis, the administrators of the cemetery are not treating it as an antisemitic incident and the police have refused to say whether they will do so or not. If this is, as we suspect, the result of neo-Nazi activity, it represents not only one example of resurgent far-right extremism, but also an example of the growing prominence of WWII-era-style Nazism and ultra-Nationalism, not based purely on racism and antisemitism, but instead with a genuine reverence for Nazi politics and Nazi figures and collaborators. This ideology has been increasingly visible in Europe.

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Holocaust memorial desecrated with Nazi imagery in Ukraine amidst rising antisemitism

A Holocaust memorial in Chernivtsi, in the South-West of Ukraine, was desecrated last night.

A post on Facebook shows an image of the memorial with the numbers 14/88. These are a code for the 14 words, a neo-Nazi mantra about preserving the Aryan race, and “Heil Hitler”.

There is also a Swastika and the SS logo.

Everyday Antisemitism has been documenting a resurgence of antisemitism in Ukraine, driven by Nationalist groups which have glorified Nazi collaborators, attempted to prosecute elderly Jewish war heroes and physically attacking Jews and those who defend them in the streets. Last month, far-right extremists chanted “Jews out” as they celebrated the birthday of a Nazi collaborator.

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10 Jewish gravestones smashed in Bucharest in “premeditated act” coinciding with Holocaust remembrance

The Center for Monitoring and Combating Antisemitism in Romania have reported that ten Jewish tombstones have been smashed at a Jewish cemetery in Bucharest.

The group are describing the incident as a “premeditated act”, which appears to have been timed to coincide with Yom HaShoah, the day in the Jewish calendar dedicated to commemorating the 6 million Jewish victims of the Holocaust. It was discovered yesterday and apparently occurred on Monday.

Despite between 150,000 and 250,000 Romanian Jews being deported to concentration camps within a two year period between 1942 and 1944, many Romanians continued to deny or downplay the country’s role in the extermination of European Jews. Today, only 6,000 Jews remain in the country.

The police are investigating several teenagers in connection with the incident.


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Philadelphia Synagogue being vandalized on an almost monthly basis, with members increasingly anxious

On Sunday 23rd March 2017 vandalism had visited the Temple Menorah Keneseth Chai in Tacony, Philadelphia, USA for the third time since December 2016. A report dated 28th March 2017 on the The Coordination Forum for Counting Antisemitism website includes video footage of a rock thrown through the synagogue window.

On 9th January 2017 we reported that a rock had smashed the synagogue widows on 2nd December 2016 and 26th March 2017 during Shabbat when worshippers were likely to be in attendance and thereby at risk of being injured.

With yet another incident, this now amounts to a campaign of intimidation. After the last incident, we described how elderly attendees at the Shul were feeling anxious about leaving the building alone. Sadly, it seems that there still exists good reason for them to be worried, with the police being yet to apprehend a suspect.

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Graffiti calling the Holocaust “fake history” at Seattle Synagogue

Temple De Hirsch Sinai, a Synagogue in Seattle, Washington, has been vandalized with Holocaust denying graffiti, with a suspicious package being found.

The graffiti read “Holocau$t i$ fake hi$story”.

Whilst Holocaust denial itself is unequivocally and universally antisemitic, the dollar signs carry a further antisemitic implication: that Jews have somehow exploited the Holocaust for financial game, perhaps an inevitable “twist” to the antisemitism of Holocaust denial, given that Jews being obsessed with money is a common antisemitic canard.

A suspicious package was also found, which police investigated, but it turned out to just be a book donation. The police are currently investigation the graffiti.


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Holocaust memorial destroyed overnight in Odessa, police attribute it to “old age”

A Holocaust memorial in Savra in Odessa, Ukraine, has been totally destroyed overnight.

Paul Kozlenko, director of the Holocaust museum in Odessa, said “villains and moral monsters continue to mock the memory of Holocaust victims”, saying that the memorial, which is in a Jewish cemetery, was “completely destroyed”.

The police are saying that this was not a deliberate act of vandalism, but are instead attributing it to “old age and natural causes”. However, it seems far from plausible that the memorial, which is pictured before its destruction below, could be destroyed so totally in such a brief period of time without it being an intentional act. Unfortunately, it appears that the police have decided that this is simply not something they wish to investigate. Given that we report on dozens of desecrations of Holocaust memorials and Jewish cemeteries, which are among the most common instances of antisemitism, it is profoundly irresponsible not to treat this as suspicious from the outset.

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Dozens of graves vandalized at Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia

Dozens of graves have been vandalized at a Jewish cemetery at Wissinoming, Philadelphia.

The Mizel Family Foundation is offering a $10,000 reward for those who provide information leading to the conviction of those responsible.

Police say that over 100 headstones were damages, with some of those helping with the clean up saying that up to 500 were.

A local Rabbi told the news:

“There are people from Quaker, Muslim, Jewish communities. Some rabbis, my colleagues, we just heard about this, thanks to your reporting, and came out here out of the desire to be in solidarity to show that we’re not interested in any narrative about victimization and – as heartbreaking as this is – we are strong together”

“I just met two congregants of mine who were here, one whom has relatives. His way of responding was to go row by row and count, and he’s counted over 500 tombstones”

Last week a similar mass grave desecration occured at St Louis, in a strike which police say was coordinated by several people. The scale of this vandalism may point towards a similar conclusion.

Desecration Everyday Antisemitism Featured Location Medium Missouri North America United States of America Vandalism Ξ Channels Ξ E-mail Ξ Social Media

Over 100 headstones vandalized in Jewish Cemetery in Missouri

Police in University City, near St. Louis, Missouri, are investigating after dozens of headstones at a Jewish cemetery were vandalized.

The Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery is over 125 years old, with its website saying it emphasises “traditional Jewish integrity, reverence and respect”.

The police are refusing to say whether they believe this is a hate crime or not, but the vandalism is thought to be the result of a coordinated operation from a group of people, not a lone vandal. This seems to indicate that it is far more than mere random vandalism and suggests that antisemitism is a very likely motivation. If this is the case, it is a worrying attempt to intimidate and upset the local Jewish population.

The police are examining CCTV footage from the area, but as of now, no arrests have been made.

Aerial footage showing the extent of the damage can be viewed here.

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Philadelphia Synagogue has windows smashed twice in two months

A Synagogue in Tacony, which is nearly 100 years old, is facing what could begin to look like a campaign of intimidation after its windows were smashed for the second time in just over a month.

A rock was thrown through a window, smashing it, at the Temple Menorah Keneseth Chai in the evening of December 2nd. The incident nearly left Synagogue President, Malcolm Adler, injured as falling shards of glass hit him. The window took a week to replace, costing the community $350.

Then last Friday at around 19:30, another rock was thrown through the same window, with two others broken.

One of the rocks thrown was the size of a baseball, and thus could easily have caused serious injury had it hit someone.

Both of the incidents appear to have been timed to coincide with Shabbat, so it cannot be discounted that the vandal responsible also aimed to hurt worshippers inside the building.

Within the last 10 years the Synagogue was also targeted with Swastika graffiti.

Mr Adler has said that some of the elderly members of the community are now nervous about leaving services, fearing that they could be victims of a physical attack. This sadly illustrates how incidents which some may write off as “just vandalism” can easily leave a community feeling victimised, with vulnerable members of community feeling at risk of physical harm.

The police are investigating the incidents as hate crimes.


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Arrests made after headstone defaced with “f***ing Jew” graffiti

Three arrests have been made after a headstone in Indiana was vandalized with the words “fucking Jew”.

The headstone marked the grave of a Jewish couple, whose grandson posted an appeal on his Facebook for information on Monday.

The headstone was identifiably Jewish, as it had a Star of David on it.


Desecration Europe Everyday Antisemitism Featured Location Medium Religion Ukraine Vandalism Ξ Channels Ξ E-mail Ξ Social Media

Rabbi Nachman’s grave desecrated with pig’s head, blood

Visitors coming to pay their respects at the grave of Rabbi Nachman were “astonished” to find the site had been vandalised.

Antisemitic vandals left a severed pig head, and what is either red paint or blood, with reports varying.

The vandalism appears to have occurred on Tuesday night, and was discovered this morning.

The grave is located in Uman, Ukraine.

Rabbi Nachman was the founder of the Breslov Hasidic movement, and died in 1810. His grave is attended by around 150,000 visitors every year.

Rabbi Moshe Asman, the Chief Rabbi of Ukraine, told an Army radio station: “We will look into it, we have ways to do this, along with the police and local intelligence institutions, we will try to reach them. Vandals threw a pig’s head and shed blood”.

The question now is who did it, it wasn’t easy to move it there, because the area is inhabited by a lot of Jews”.

“There haven’t been events like this, but there are always cases of antisemitism before the New Year. In such a small place sometimes there are incidents, but I don’t have any more details, we will learn more from the investigation”.

Yair Lapid, Chairman of Israel’s Yesh Atid Party, urged the Ukrainian Ambassador to Israel to look into the incident personally, saying “I was shocked this morning to hear about the sickening and violent antisemitic attack, which occurred at the grave-site of Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav, in Uman, Ukraine”, and calling the incident “unacceptable and reminiscent of the darkest days of the history of the Jewish people in Europe”.



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Germany: Jewish cemetery vandalized

The Jewish cemetery in Hagen, in the West of Germany, was vandalized in mid-November.

Two tombstones were knocked over, appearing to have had their bases smashed, and an attempt was made to remove the lettering from another.

Another tombstone was damaged by an “unknown tool”.

The damage is estimated at 800 Euros. Police are investigating.

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OC Jewish cemetery vandalized with Swastikas, “Heil Hitler”

It has just been discovered that a Jewish cemetery in Orange County was vandalized on the eve of Yom Kippur, last month.

The Beth Shalom Cemetery was found to have been vandalized with several Swastikas and the words “Heil Hitler”, as well as the SS logo.

The cemetery is connected to the Temple Beth Shalom, whose Rabbi Rebecca Shindler commented “These images are painful. They bring up the worst in humanity, and there are members of my congregation that don’t have anybody left. To come to what is supposed to be sacred ground for our congregation, and to be desecrated is unsettling, to say the least.”

Despite the upsetting attack on the community, they are still putting out a positive message. One member of the congregation said “It’s really important that good people in Warwick, who are Christian, Protestant, Catholic, Buddhist, Muslims, and Jews get together to be upset about this stuff, fix this stuff, make sure it happens to no one”, and one younger member of the community said “They can spray paint the walls, but we can build another wall, we can take off the spray paint, and we can still be a whole people. These attacks won’t destroy us”.



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“Dogs” graffiti in Mexico City Synagogue, organised hate group may be to blame

The Agudat Ahim Synagogue in Mexico City has been broken into and vandalised twice in the past week.

In one of the incidents, vandals broke in and smashed tables, chairs and windows, and spraypainted “blasphemous” words in the Synagogue, as well as the word “Perros” – meaning dogs. Of course, any instance of calling a group of people dogs is dehumanising and to be condemned, but it must also be noted that comparing Jews to animals has been a constant feature of antisemitism for hundreds of years.

There was also a form of “Anarchy” symbol. That an anti-establishment symbol would come to be used in an attack upon a Synagogue is extremely telling, as it demonstrates that Jews are associated with the establishment, which potential betrays an underlying conspiracy theory mindset as one of the motives of the attacks.

Representatives believe that the attacks have been perpetrated by an organised group whose express goal it is to intimidate the Jewish community.

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Holocaust memorial desecrated in Ukraine

A moment dedicated to the memory of thousands of Jews who were murdered by the Nazis in Kremenchug, Ukraine, has been desecrated.

Neo-Nazi vandals, the identities of whom are unknown, drew several swastikas as well as the numbers “14” and “88” on the memorial. 14 and 88 are both Neo-Nazi codes, with 14 referring to the ’14 words’, a creed used by neo-Nazis, and 88 referring to the eighth letter in the alphabet being repeated twice, which stands for ‘Heil Hitler.

Local authorities have washed the graffiti off the monument. The police are currently seeking the perpetrators.

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Berlin Holocaust memorials defaced with references to Jesus

RIAS have reported that a Holocaust memorial in Berlin-mitte has been defaced with graffiti referencing Jesus.

The words “Jesus, love, truth” were painted onto the memorial which commemorates the murdered memers of the Adass Jisroel Synagogue in Berlin.

A few days later, the same words were found on the memorial for Putlitz Bridge, which commemorates a deportation of Jews to Poland. Then a week later another memorial, at levetzowstraße, was found defaced with the same words.

Whilst the words themselves are not antisemitic, any intentional damage to a Holocaust memorial is antisemitic in nature, and attempting to preach about Jesus or Christianity using a Holocaust memorial as one’s platform minimalises Jewish suffering with a subject that many Jews are already sensitive to to begin with. Beyond this, the use of the word “truth” could be a passing reference to Holocaust denial, though this is not entirely clear from the wording or the graffiti.

An individual member of the public has taken it upon him/herself to remove the graffiti.

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Jewish Cemeteries Desecrated In Poland and Moldova

According to local authorities, swastikas were sprayed on a number of graves that are located in a Jewish cemetery in Minsk Mazowiecki (Novominsk) Poland. The perpetrators are unknown. Since the cemetery is closed for most of the day, it is considered a break-in. The graves also appear to have Nazi slogans such as “Juden raus” painted on them.

The desecrated graves were discovered by local residents, who, in turn, notified members of the local Jewish community. After being notified by the Jewish community, the police opened up an investigation.

Novominsk, which had its named changed to Minsk Mazowiecki in 1916, is located in central Poland, near Warsaw. The city has a population of approximately 40,000 people.

Before World War Two, thousands of Polish Jews lived in the surrounding area.  But when Hitler invaded Poland, the Jewish community of Minsk Mazowiecki (Novominsk) was rounded up, and forced to live in the Nazi-created Minsk Ghetto. 

In one of the first episodes of the Holocaust, the Minsk Jews, who had not been shot to death by the SS in the streets of Minsk Mazowiecki, were sent to the gas chambers of Treblinka.

In addition, a Jewish cemetery located in Balti (Belts), Moldova, formerly Bessarabia, USSR, was desecrated  with graffiti and vandalized. The enormous cemetery has 25,000 Jewish graves. Six gravestones were smashed and toppled. Despite an investigation by the Balti police, the vandals have not been identified 

The cemetery caretaker, Nina Korlotyan, told Channel BTV that she believes that a group of young people may have gone into the cemetery at night. Korlotyan became suspicious when she discovered empty liquor bottles around cemetery benches 

Balti (Belts) which is the third largest city in Moldova, originally had a large Jewish population. Before the start of World War Two, 20,000 Jews lived in Balti,  But 15,000 Balti Jews perished in the Holocaust. They either died in death camps, were shot to death by Romanian soldiers, who were allies of Nazi Germany, or died of starvation.

The desecration of the Polish and Moldovan cemeteries are part of a wave of cemetery desecrations that have recently occurred in Europe.

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Swastikas painted on Ioannina synagogue

A Synagogue in Ioannina, Greece has been vandalized with Swastika graffiti.

Members of the local community found the graffiti, which has been reported to the authorities.

Vandals painted the swastikas on the exterior wall of the historic Synagogue, which is located in the old part of the city.

The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece produced the following statement:

“Vandal racists defaced with swastikas the exterior of the surrounding wall of the historic Synagogue of Ioannina, situated in the old walled city, the Kastro (Castle). Vandals drew swastikas also in some houses of the surrounding area.”

The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece expressed the Greek Jewry’s repudiation for this hideous act and urged the competent authorities to work for the arrest of the perpetrators as well as for the adequate protection of the Synagogue so as to contain such incidents that stain the image of the city of Ioannina.”  

During the Holocaust, many of the Jews of Ioannina, as well as those in surrounding areas, were deported to Auschwitz.

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Jerusalem Synagogue desecrated with Christian symbols

A Synagogue in the Old City of Jerusalem has been vandalized with crosses Arutz Sheva has reported.

Multiple large crosses were spray painted across the front of the Synagogue.

The Synagogue serves a large Persian Jewish population in the area.

The police are investigating


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Synagogue daubed, “Heil Hitler” yelled

A synagogue in the German city of Erfurt was besmeared on early Saturday

According to a German news portal the small synagogue in the old part of Erfurt, Germany, was daubed on early Saturday morning. That same night a group of four was heard shouting antisemitic abuse close to the old part of Erfurt, including shouting “Heil Hitler”. The police are looking for the suspected persons. It is unclear if these two incidents stand in connection



Desecration Europe Featured Location Medium Northern Ireland United Kingdom

Thirteen Jewish graves desecrated in Belfast

The Belfast Telegraph has reported that 13 Jewish graves have been desecrated in a cemetery in Belfast, Northern Island.

The cemetery stands as witness to over 150 years of Jewish history in the city, including the grave of the community’s founder Daniel Joseph Jaffe, who died in Nice but whose body was brought back to Belfast to be buried, as well as more recent graves of those who went to Northern Ireland to escape Nazi and Soviet persecution.

The attack was carried out by a “large crowd of youths” on Friday night. They apparently used hammers. They had also attempted to destroy the slabs of rocks on top of the graves, in an attempt to uncover the remains.

A local politician described the attack as “anti-community, anti-Belfast, anti-social and anti-Semitic”.

The police are treating the incident as a hate crime.

Any information can be supplied via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or through the 101 non-emergency number, using reference 742 of 26th August


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Synagogue, Jewish cemetery desecrated in Ukraine

Kolomyia Synagogue in Western Ukraine was defaced with antisemitic graffiti on Thursday night.

The entrance to the Synagogue was sprayed with a swastika and “antisemitic slogans”.

Jacob Zlishiker, an official of the Jewish community, said that such incidents are routine in the area. However, the police are taking the matter very seriously.

A Jewish cemetery was also vandalized on the same evening.

Before the Holocaust there were 50 Synagogues in the City. This appears to be the only one still active, having been founded by a small number of Jews who returned to the city after its liberation from the Nazis.

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Pigs’ trotters thrown into synagogue in Israel

For the second time in two months, pigs’ legs have been found at the entrance of a synagogue of the Gur Hassidism in Arad, Israel. According to residents, worshipers at the synagogue found that four feet had been thrown at the synagogue entrance. No suspect has been identified.

Source: CFCA/