Vandals create antisemitic message on Jewish Congregation of Venice sign

Venice, FL
- Authorities are investigating after words on a sign outside the Jewish Congregation of Venice were altered to read "Jews Postponed Until Feb. 2022."

A Sunday news release said the congregation was "dismayed by an act of vandalism."

The congregation's rabbi said he was angered by it. 

The alteration turned a notice about a popular area event and turned it into a type of threat against Jewish people. 

"Wording on a sign on the JCV property informing the community about postponement of the highly popular 2021 Jewish Food Festival was altered to reflect an antisemitic statement," it said. 

The words "food festival" were pulled off the sign at Auburn Road and Kennedy Drive. 

Authorities believe it happened on the night of Dec. 14. 

Venice Police were informed about the crime "promptly," the news release said. 

Security officials with the synagogue and the Jewish Federation in Sarasota were a part of the initial inquiry. 

"It is unfortunate that this act of antisemitism has occurred," JCV President Harvey Cohen said in the news release. "The JCV will continue to support both the Jewish and non-Jewish community. We look forward to welcoming everyone to our February, 2022 Food Festival."

The news release notes JCV becoming an "active contributor to community charities and a participant in a variety of local events."

Its rabbi, Ben Shull, is among the leaders of interfaith activities in Venice. The news release states the vandalism "undermines the good will which has been established and nurtured in Venice among various religious institutions."

In his statement, Shull said he felt "confident" that friends will help speak out against antisemitism. 

"I am angered by this act of vandalism against our congregation," he said. "We will not let such cowardly acts of hatred cause us to back away from living proudly as Jews and active members of the larger Venice community … We will continue our efforts, along with the Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee and the Venice Interfaith Community Association, to educate the larger community about the nature and sources of antisemitism."

Source: yoursun