Police are searching for whoever spray-painted anti-Semitic graffiti at a suburban Indianapolis synagogue.
Congregation Shaarey Tefilla, a Conservative synagogue in Carmel says the vandalism was done early Saturday to the bricks making up a shed for the synagogue’s garbage container. Images posed online show a large Nazi flag among the symbols.
The synagogue said its Saturday services weren’t affected.
Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard on Sunday condemned the vandalism and said the city’s police department was seeking to apprehend those responsible.
The Indianapolis Jewish Community Relations Council says it has been in contact with police agencies and area synagogues to ensure necessary steps were being taken to further secure their facilities.
Rabbi Benjamin Sendrow of Congregration Shaarey Tefilla said the congregation was “deeply disappointed in the horrific vandalism”:
“We are deeply disappointed in the horrific vandalism that occurred at our Congregation,
Intolerance, hatred, and violent acts against Jews are significant realities today. The response to this heinous act affirms that America is collectively outraged at these hateful acts in our neighborhoods.”
On Sunday afternoon, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, a former governor of Indiana, wrote on Twitter that he was “Sickened and appalled by the cowardly act”:
Sickened and appalled by the cowardly act of vandalism at Congregation Shaarey Tefilla; a beautiful synagogue in Carmel, Indiana where I have many good friends. Those responsible must be held accountable. These vile acts of anti-Semitism must end. https://t.co/0h6rKPilda
— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) July 29, 2018
U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly, a Democrat, released the following statement condemning the vandalism:
“I condemn the vandalism at Congregation Shaarey Tefilla. There is no place for anti-Semitism, bigotry, or hatred in our communities, state, and country. -Joe”
U.S. Sen. Todd Young, a Republican, called the graffiti “a hateful act of anti-Semitism that goes against everything America stands for”:
“The vandalism at Congregation Shaarey Tefilla goes well beyond a petty crime. It was a hateful act of anti-Semitism that goes against everything America stands for. I’ve spoken with Rabbi Sendrow and members of the congregation, and I stand with them in condemning this ignorant and disgusting crime. Our nation’s diversity is a great attribute, not an undesirable flaw.”
U.S. Rep. Susan Brooks, a Republican who represents Carmel as part of the Fifth District of Indiana, called on “all citizens of Carmel, Hamilton County and throughout the state to join me in speaking out against this awful act of intolerance and bigotry”:
“I am appalled by the despicable and hateful act of antisemitism perpetrated yesterday against Congregation Shaarey Tefilla in Carmel. I urge all citizens of Carmel, Hamilton County and throughout the state to join me in speaking out against this awful act of intolerance and bigotry. Actions like this have no place in our community and I hope the perpetrators are swiftly brought to justice.”
State Sen. Mike Delph, a Republican from Carmel who represents District 29, said he was “shocked and saddened” by the vandalism:
“Each year for the last several years I have had the honor of introducing Rabbi Benjamin Sendrow of Congregation Shaarey Tefilla to my Senate colleagues as he offered our daily prayer in the Indiana State Senate. I was shocked and saddened to learn about the recent vandalism that occurred at his synagogue.
Everyone in the United States should feel free to worship according to the dictates of his or her own conscience without fear. Anti-Semitism is an evil that cannot be tolerated and must be confronted. It is my hope that the FBI and Carmel Police Department will find the perpetrators so they can be brought to justice swiftly. I strongly condemn this behavior and encourage all of my fellow Hoosiers to do so as well.”
(YWN / AP)