Virtual Tisha B’Av service hosted by Dallas synagogues disrupted by antisemitic messages

Dallas, Texas - Synagogues in Dallas, Texas, had their joint virtual prayer service hijacked on Thursday morning by an antisemite who shared threatening messages targeting Jews and Israel.

A number of local Orthodox synagogues and rabbis gathered for morning prayers on Zoom with over 100 participants when at around 10:30 a.m. someone infiltrated the service and published messages on the screen that included “Kill all Jews,” “Bomb Israel,” “Free Palestine” and “Hail Hitler.” The swastika symbol was also displayed, as well as “F–k Judaism” and other remarks with expletives targeting Hinduism and African Americans, Rabbi Ariel Racovsky from Congregation Shaare Tefilla, one of the synagogues that participated in the prayer service.

A video of the “Zoom-bombing” was posted on Instagram by one of Shaare Tefilla’s congregants, social media influencer and activist Elizabeth Savetsky. According to the clip, the messages were shared by a user who went by the name Andrew Rodriguez.

The incident took place on Tisha B’Av, the saddest day on the Jewish calendar, on which Jews fast to commemorate a number of disasters in history, primarily the historic destruction of both temples in ancient Jerusalem.

The hate messages appeared for just a few minutes before the account hosting the Zoom call managed to remove the hijacker and shut down the conference, Rabbi Racovsky explained. The congregations then began a second Zoom conference, which attracted more participants than the first call.

Rabbi Racovsky said the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) were notified about the messages, which constituted a federal hate crime.

Source: The Algemeiner