Second northern N.J. synagogue defaced by anti-Semitic graffiti


(JTA) — A northern New Jersey synagogue was defaced by anti-Semitic vandalism near where another synagogue was struck a few days earlier.

Swastikas and white supremacist symbols were painted on Temple Beth El in Hackensack late Tuesday night, the first night of Chanukah. Graffiti that accused Jews of causing the 9-11 attacks also was painted on the building, according to reports. A secretary at the Conservative synagogue discovered the graffiti on Wednesday morning.

Police reportedly believe it was the same vandals who painted swastikas last week on the Reconstructionist Temple Beth Israel in neighboring Maywood.

Hackensack police reportedly have scheduled extra patrols near the synagogue.

The Anti-Defamation League condemned the incident in a statement issued Wednesday.

“We are deeply troubled by a repeat attack on a Jewish place of worship in Bergen County,” said Etzion Neuer, the ADL’s director of community service and policy for the New York Regional Office. “At a time when Jews are celebrating the joyous festival of Hanukkah, they instead find themselves cleaning symbols of hatred off their place of worship. While graffiti swastikas are often the work of malicious juveniles, the appearance of white supremacist symbols strongly suggests an extremist connection.”

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