Hamilton Police Confirm Hate Crime Investigation Underway After Synagogue Targeted with Antisemitic Graffiti

October 7, 2019

Statement

Toronto (October 7, 2019) - Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) has been assured by Hamilton Police Service that a hate crime investigation is underway and extra security has been put in place after antisemitic graffiti was discovered at a synagogue over the weekend.

In a letter to congregants, Rabbi Hillel Lavery-Yisraeli of Beth Jacob Synagogue said the graffiti – which included a swastika and the word Jews crossed out – was found on the ground at the entrance of the parking lot on Shabbat morning. Graffiti was also discovered in three other areas around the synagogue.

“The targeting of a synagogue with such hateful graffiti is extremely troubling, particularly with the recent surge in violence in places of worship,” said FSWC president and CEO Avi Benlolo. “We urge police to put in place security measures that will ensure the safety of congregants and all members of the Jewish community.”

Hamilton police confirmed with FSWC that they are in the process of canvassing surveillance footage as well as had patrol cars parked outside the synagogue over the weekend and will provide additional security at the synagogue this week for the holiday services.

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