JCC Cleans Up Hate-Filled Graffiti

| November 11, 2009

CORAL SPRINGS (CBS4) ―  With paint brushes, rollers and tarps in hand workers at a Jewish community center in Coral Springs spent Tuesday morning painting over messages of hate that were spray painted on the walls of the center's playground.

The anti-Semitic messages were discovered Monday at the Soref Jewish Community Center, located at 5601 Coral Ridge Drive.

"I just think it is disgusting," said Aldo Cataldo who owns a dry cleaning business in the same shopping center where the JCC is located. "I can't believe in a neighborhood like this something like that would happen. I just can't believe people nowadays still feel that way to even want to do something like that."

As if the swastikas spray painted all over the place weren't offensive enough, whoever did this spelled out several threats. One read "your worst nightmare", another read "you r 2 die", also "jews shall die", and finally "I hate you."

"It's almost too emotional. I can't believe that in our own back yard, in our community this is taking place in 2009. It's just incredible," said Donald Graw, Executive Director of the Soref JCC.

What makes it even worse: those ugly, hateful messages were spray painted in the middle of a children's playground. Coral Springs police are investigating.

"We're not aware of any other instance in our community, or any other surrounding community, this weekend where such an act of vandalism is concerned. We take this very seriously," said Coral Springs Police Chief Duncan Foster.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) issued a statement Monday afternoon, which deplored the anti-Semitic graffiti.

"Whenever anti-Semitism and messages of hate appear, it is critical for the community to unite and condemn such hatred," stated Andrew Rosenkranz, ADL Florida Regional Director. "Today begins the 71st anniversary of 'Kristallnacht,' the night of broken glass when Jewish property and windows were shattered in Germany signifying the beginning of the Nazis' public persecution of German Jews. It is disheartening to think that several decades later, Jewish community centers are still being targeted."

The reward for information leading to an arrest has risen to $3,500. The Anti-Defamation League is offering $1,000, the Coral Springs Police Department is offering $500 and Broward Crime Stoppers is offering up to $2,000.

If you know anything about this crime, please call Broward Crime Stoppers at (954) 493-TIPS.



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Category: Synagogue/Jewish Security

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