The small Reform synagogue in Billings, Mont. was vandalized. Chocolate and vanilla pudding was apparently thrown at the outside of the building sometime late Friday night or early Saturday, according to a report in the Billings Gazette. Police told reporters they believed the vandalism was â€œvery 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 boyâ€™s window that displayed a Chanukah menorah. In solidarity with the boyâ€™s family, thousands of Billings residents taped paper menorahs in their windows, inspiring the PBS documentary â€œNot 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 townâ€™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 was apparently smeared intentionally on a security camera near the door, and blobs of dried brown pudding were left on the front door window that is decorated with a Star of David. â€œThe building is fine,â€ board member Al Page told reporters, saying he attributed the attack to ignorance. â€œBut the Star of David, that’s a religious symbol.â€
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.