Temple Emanuel Rabbi Michael Schadick arrived Sunday morning around 8 a.m. and found some disturbing posters
. One had a picture of Hitler with the words “Did you forget about me?” The other read, “A crusade against Semite led subhumans.”
The posters were credited to the Vorherrschaft Division, an extremist neo-Nazi group.
No arrests have been made so far and there are currently no definitive leads, Sgt. John Wittkowski with the Grand Rapids Police Department told CNN. The investigation is being handled by the major crimes detective unit.
Wittkowski said that the incident is believed to have happened between 8 p.m. on Saturday and 8 a.m. on Sunday. He said the synagogue was in a “relatively quiet” residential neighborhood.
Temple Emanuel has increased its private security and members and staff are being extra vigilant after the hateful images were discovered, Wittkowski said. Police have also ramped up patrols in the area.
CNN called Temple Emanuel and emailed the synagogue president but has so far been unable to reach a representative for comment.
The posters were discovered on the day that Sukkot, the weeklong Jewish festival of giving thanks for the fall harvest, began.
Local leaders and officials condemned the vandalism and shared messages of solidarity with the synagogue and the Jewish community.
“Hate has no place in our community and it will not be tolerated,” Grand Rapid Police Chief Eric Payne told CNN affiliate WXMI
“This act of hate has no place here or anywhere,” Rep. Justin Amash, whose district includes Grand Rapids, wrote in a tweet
. “The diversity of Grand Rapids is a blessing that makes our community stronger and more beautiful. We are united against any effort to harass or intimidate the congregation of Temple Emanuel or any of our Jewish brothers and sisters.”
Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss wrote on Twitter
that she was, “Standing in solidarity with our Jewish friends and neighbors. And standing united in rejecting these acts of hatred and anti-Semitism.”
Jewish communities in the US experienced near-historic levels of anti-Semitism in 2018, according to an annual report from the Anti-Defamation League
. There were 1,879 attacks on Jews and Jewish institutions last year, the third-highest year on record since the organization began tracking that data, the ADL reported.
Source : CNN