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October 7, 2019

Antisemitic graffiti scrawled outside Beth Jacob synagogue

Hamilton, ONHamilton police are investigating a possible hate crime after anti-Semitic graffiti was found scrawled on walkways outside Beth Jacob Synagogue Saturday morning.
As congregants arrived for Saturday's 9:15 a.m. service, they discovered freshly-etched graffiti scribbled in chalk at the entrance of the parking lot.
Similar messages were also found at three other locations around the synagogue, which is located at 375 Aberdeen Ave., between Locke and Dundurn streets.

Photographs show the word "Jews" with a line through it, along with a crude swastika.
A police spokesperson said the messages were scrubbed away with brushes and water.
Police are now examining video footage from a number of locations around the synagogue that might help identify the culprit or culprits.
According to police, a number of the congregants were visibly upset as they arrived and noticed the anti-Semitic graffiti. One of the people who witnessed the graffiti was a Holocaust survivor.
"We are thankful that the police are taking this incident seriously and hope that it doesn't recur," Rabbi Hillel Lavery-Yisraeli wrote in a message to congregants. "Beth Jacob continues to being committed to the Jewish vision of universal peace and looks forward to a Hamilton that is free of hate and safe for all."
In an interview with The Spectator, Lavery-Yisraeli noted a discouraging irony. On Friday, he was a facilitator at a conference on taking action against hate and racism in Hamilton, and later Saturday he took part in the Gandhi Peace Festival walk.
"And Saturday morning I come to synagogue as I normally do and I find that waiting for me," the rabbi said. "The context and the timing were really jarring.
Source: chch