Oakland Synagogue Hit With Anti-Semitic Graffiti On Rosh Hashanah

OAKLAND (CBS SF) — An Oakland synagogue was the target of anti-Semitic graffiti left on a wall of the building during Rosh Hashanah.

Oakland Police said it received a report about the vandalism at 5:15 a.m. Thursday at Temple Sinai at 2808 Summit St.  The anti-Semitic slurs were discovered on a wall on the Webster Street side of the synagogue.

Responding officers and technicians found graffiti on the side of the building and conducted a preliminary investigation.

The incident was being investigated as vandalism and a hate crime, police said.

“The Oakland Police Department stands against hate and hate crimes. We serve all communities of Oakland,” a police spokesperson said via email.

Temple Sinai said in a post on its Facebook page that the graffiti would be covered up with paper ahead of morning services for Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. The two-day celebration, the first of the Jewish High Holy Days, began Wednesday evening.

“While this is surely upsetting, this will not define our experience of coming together as a community today,” the Temple Sinai Facebook post said. “Our strength and resilience will sound through our voices in song and prayer.”

Temple Sinai also invited community members to write upon the sheet of paper covering the graffiti “words of love and friendship as guiding lights for the coming year.”

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf also released a statement condemning the graffiti attack.

“Ignorance showed its face in Oakland today,” Schaaf said in the statement. “And our community responded with love.”

The statement continued: “I strongly condemn the vulgar graffiti spray painted on Temple Sinai, a house of worship in the heart of our city. The words were meant to harm our community.”

The statement went on to applaud the temple for asking the community to “cover words of hate with words of hope.”

“Those are Oakland values in play: We take care of each other through kindness, compassion, and action,” Schaaf said. “Today, we sent a collective message that Oakland stands united against hate.”

Oakland Police encouraged anyone with information about the incident to contact the Criminal Investigation Division at (510) 238-3728.

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