Police Searching for Vandal Who Desecrated Spokane Synagogue With Anti-Semitic Graffiti

The vandalized synagogue in Spokane, Washington.

February 9, 2021

Police in Spokane, Washington, are searching for a suspect after a synagogue was vandalized on Monday with swastikas and other anti-Semitic graffiti.

The incident — which local authorities have designated as a hate crime — occurred at Temple Beth Shalom.

Security cameras recorded an unidentified white male — wearing blue jeans, black boots, a dark hooded jacket, a dark beanie, black gloves, a red mask, and sunglasses — defacing the Jewish house of worship’s Holocaust memorial and side wall with spray paint.

Temple Beth Shalom Rabbi Tamar Malino told Spokane media outlet KXLY, “It’s horribly upsetting and frightening for sure to know that there’s that much hatred out there of people in our community and to see it expressed that way. We are always wary in our building knowing that there are folks out there who don’t like us very much.”

Malino said the perpetrator should “really take a good interior look at themselves and realize that all human beings are created in the divine image, and there’s no reason to hate one more than another no matter what their race or creed is.”

Spokane Police Department Chief Craig Meidl said, “There is no place for hate-mongering in our community. SPD takes this crime very seriously and is committed to doing everything possible to arrest the person or persons responsible.”

Spokane Mayor Nadine Woodward stated, “Spokane is a community that welcomes different faiths and protects the ability of people to practice those beliefs safely and freely in their places of worship. The symbols and writings are disgusting and desecrate a place of worship and a memorial to those whose lives were lost during a hateful time in world history.”

“The Spokane Police Department has dedicated numerous resources to the investigation of this hate crime,” she added.