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Synagogue Desecrated in Bridgeport; Torahs Slashed; Swastika on Ark

Civic and Jewish communal leaders joined today in voicing shock and outrage at the desecration by unknown vandals this weekend of Congregation Bikur Cholim, where five Torah scrolls were slashed, a swastika carved on the ark and the ark-curtain ripped.

While police said that there was no evidence that the desecration was the work of any neo-Nazi group, and that the vandals were probably juveniles, Rabbi Alexander Schuck, spiritual leader of the congregation, pointed out that there was no damage of a general type as might be expected by simple vandals. He said the damage consisted of specific destruction and defacement of Jewish symbols.

Mayor Samuel J. Tedesco said that the vandalism to the synagogue was “most degrading,” and that such incidents must be stopped. “I know of no act that is more reprehensible,” he declared. Nathan Skolnick, executive director of the Bridgeport United Jewish Council, called the desecration “a most serious affront to the Jewish religion.”