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New Jersey Synagogue Defaced; 18 Swastikas Painted; Adults Suspected

August 25, 1966
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Police pushed an investigation today in the swastika defacing of Congregation Beth Sholom here, in what was termed the first such desecration of a religious structure in this community. Police Chief Robert Fitzpatrick said the defacing of the synagogue was a crime but that the nature of the smearings “makes this particularly grave.”

Rabbi Harry Schaeffer said 18 swastikas had been “carefully inscribed” with white paint on window panes, pavement, doors and wood trim of the synagogue. He said “this was not the work of little children who did not know what they were doing. ” He said an oil-base paint was used which will make it very difficult to remove the swastikas.

In saying he was hopeful that arrests would be made, the rabbi explained that he was not so much concerned about punishment of the vandals as he was that such persons had to be educated “to the enormity of their act. By displaying this symbol, they are displaying their ignorance of the evil it stands for.” The congregation was considering offering a reward for information leading to arrest of the vandals. Teaneck has four other synagogues.

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