More racist scars found on South Shore | TahoeDailyTribune.com

More racist scars found on South Shore

Jeff Munson

Two new swastikas were discovered Wednesday, following the discovery Tuesday of anti-Semitic vandalism at Temple Bat Yam in South Lake Tahoe.

Police and the FBI are investigating the rash of vandalism after swastikas, and the words “Die Jew” were spray painted on the temple sometime between Sunday night and Tuesday morning, the first day of Hanukkah, the Jewish holiday.

A spokesman for the FBI was unavailable for comment on Wednesday. Police said the investigation is ongoing.

“Our initial leads are still being explored. We have not identified a suspect at this time,” said South Lake Tahoe Police Department Lt. Martin Hewlett.

The first swastika found Wednesday is located at the speed limit sign adjacent to the South Lake Tahoe welcome sign at Lake Tahoe Boulevard and Airport Road. The second was discovered at the intersection of Takela and Lake Tahoe Boulevard.

Caltrans informed authorities Wednesday that it would take between 10 days and two weeks to repaint the signs and utility boxes. In the meantime, city employees will do a temporary cover-up job on the vandalized property, Hewlett said.

Meanwhile, Temple Bat Yam Rabbi Jonathan Freirich said he and synagogue members have received an outpouring of support from community members following the discovery of the vandalism, considered a felony hate crime.

“The response from the community and their support has been overwhelming,” Freirich said.

On Saturday the synagogue will hold a re-dedication ceremony and is inviting all community members and clergy to participate. The ceremony begins at 4 p.m., at 3260 Pioneer Trail.

Hanukkah, which means “re-dedication” is an eight-day Jewish celebration that dates to 165 B.C. when the Holy Temple in Jerusalem was re-dedicated by Jews after being desecrated by foreign forces.

“In response to our vandalism, we will gather and are inviting all community members to re-dedicate our temple,” Freirich said.

The Anti-Defamation League’s San Francisco office has told Freirich that it is preparing to announce reward money that leads to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrators. Those who wish to donate to the reward fund can call the Anti-Defamation League at (415) 981-3500.


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