Synagogue in Billings, Mont. vandalized


The small Reform synagogue in Billings, Mont. was vandalized.

Chocolate and vanilla pudding apparently was thrown at the building sometime late last Friday night or early Saturday, according to a report in the Billings Gazette.

Police told reporters they believed the vandalism was “very intentional and probably not random.”

The Montana town of 100,000 residents rose to national prominence in December 1993 when a year of hate violence culminated in a rock being thrown through a little boy’s window that displayed a Chanukah menorah. In solidarity with the boy’s family, thousands of Billings residents taped paper menorahs in their windows, inspiring the PBS documentary “Not In Our Town” and a national tolerance campaign of the same name.

Billings commemorated the 15th anniversary of the Not In Our Town campaign in January, highlighting progress made in the town’s ethnic relations.

According to the Gazette report, it appeared as though plastic containers of pudding had been opened and thrown at the synagogue. Pudding apparently was smeared intentionally on a security camera near the door, and blobs of dried brown pudding were left on the front-door window, which is decorated with a Star of David.

“The building is fine,” board member Al Page told reporters, saying he attributed the attack to ignorance. “But the Star of David, that’s a religious symbol.”

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