Community shock after two Alabama synagogues daubed with graffiti over Passover

Police are reviewing security footage following the incidents, which saw Nazi symbols and antisemitic slogans spray-painted on synagogue buildings


Police in Alabama are reviewing security footage and appealing for witnesses after two synagogues in the same city was vandalised with graffiti over Passover.

Swastikas and racial slurs were spray-painted last Wednesday evening, as Seders were beginning in homes across the city, upon the door and walls of Etz Chayim, a Conservative shul in the northern city of Huntsville.

It was followed on Thursday night by a similar attack on a nearby Chabad-run synagogue.

One Jewish group in the city said “the vicious and repugnant images” were a reminder that antisemitism continued to thrive, while Huntsville Chabad Rabbi Moshe Cohen said it was “an attack on all Jewish people”.

Huntsville police had stationed a vehicle outside the rabbi’s home over the weekend to provide an extra level of security.

The slogans and images that appeared at the sites over the first two days of Passover were produced in a similar tone and style, suggesting the same individual or group may have been involved.

Among the slogans daubed were “F**king k*kes”, “Gas Em All”, “Jew Scum” and “Holohoax”. Swastikas and the sig rune, a lightning-shaped symbol widely used in Nazi Germany, were also spray-painted.

As police said they were reviewing security camera footage and appealed for witnesses to come forward, volunteers from local churches offered to help with the clean-up effort.

Laura King, a member of the Conservative synagogue, told the Alabama news website that the use of words like “Holohoax”, a term used by Holocaust deniers, indicated those responsible were running a sophistic operation.

“This is like a smack in the face as we try to celebrate our freedom,” she said.

“The vicious and repugnant images found on the walls of Etz Chayim are a powerful reminder that antisemitism is still here and we, as a community, must come together and work tirelessly to end it,” the Jewish Federation of Huntsville and North Alabama added in a statement.

Rabbi Cohen told local television station WHNT: “This is not going to bring us down. One individual who is filled with hate in his heart and in his actions will not bring down an entire community to fear and to panic because of his actions.

“Everything we have done until now is just the beginning. Now this hate crime has happened to our community twice, not just once. We are going to be advancing in Jewish actives across north Alabama,”

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