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TPD investigates vandalism at Tucson synagogue

Local rabbi says antisemitic hate crimes are on the rise across the U.S.
Updated: May. 20, 2021 at 7:13 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Police are investigating a Tucson synagogue for a report of vandalism, members of the congregation are calling it an act of hate.

“It wasn’t just a call, it was a picture of this huge gaping hole in the door of the synagogue,” said Stephanie Aaron, the rabbi at Congregation Chavrim.

Around 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, May 20, Aaron received a photo of the damage done by a rock being thrown through the front door of her place of shalom, or peace.

“To have this act of hatred happen to us it feels like a real shattering,” said Aaron.

This is not the first time this synagogue has fallen victim to vandals.

So, Aaron says she now knows it’s time to stand up and use her voice to call for peace.

“Another rabbi in town, Rabbi Ceitlin, said someone pokes you once, twice, they poke you the third time, stand up and be strong,” said Aaron.

“An attack against one congregation is an attack against every congregation,” said Yehuda Ceitlin, the rabbi at Chabad Tucson.

Chabad Tucson is about five miles down the road from where the vandalism occurred. He says across the country in the last week alone he has noticed a rise in antisemitic hate crimes.

“A kosher restaurant in Los Angeles, someone has been hurt there; a Jewish student at the University of New Mexico and someone in Brooklyn,” said Ceitlin. “Someone commented that it seems like a free for all to attack Jewish people right now.”

Ceitlin and Aaron say this of all times – is the best to remain strong and unafraid to show faith.

“Our message to everyone right now is don’t hide your yarmulke,” said Ceitlin. “Don’t hide your Judaism or who you are. Stand strong and know that the entire community is standing with each and everyone that is out there.”

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