Extra security at synagogue after vandalism attack

| September 15, 2009

SEATTLE — Seattle police say swastikas were painted over the weekend on two synagogues and on sidewalks in a south Seattle neighborhood, and that officers are treating it as malicious harassment.

Eli Varon, vice president of the Sephardic Bikur Holim Congregation, says eleven swastikas were painted Saturday or early Sunday on that synagogue and on the nearby Congregation Bikur Cholim-Machzihay Hadath. Both are in the city’s Brighton neighborhood near Seward Park.

"It took us a long time to get it off," said Eli Varon, synagogue vice president. "It’s something that to me just shows hate."

Varon says swastikas also were painted at seven spots on nearby sidewalks and on the Interstate 5 overpass. He says he has cleaned the paint from the building, and Seattle police say city workers are removing it from the public areas that were defaced.

Seattle’s interim police chief called the rabbi to assure the congregations saying police are taking the crimes very seriously.

Police are asking anyone with information on the incidents to call the department’s Bias Crimes Unit at 206-233-3898.



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Category: Synagogue/Jewish Security

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