Window of Synagogue in Hanover, Germany, Shattered During Yom Kippur Service

The shattered stained-glass window of a synagogue in Hanover, Germany. Photo: Twitter.

October 6, 2022

An object was thrown through a stained-glass window of a synagogue in the northern German city of Hanover during the closing Yom Kippur service on Wednesday evening.

According to a Hannoversche Allgemeine report, around 150 worshippers were praying inside the synagogue at the time of the incident, which occurred on the holiest day of the Jewish year. No one was injured.

Local police have launched an investigation, with a spokesperson saying, “It is certain that a window was damaged. How — that has not yet been clarified.”

Synagogue Chairman Michael Fürst was quoted as saying, “The perpetrator must have entered the synagogue grounds. I am deeply shocked.”

Rabbi Shlomo Afanasev commented, “Today, the window was smashed in my synagogue during the last minutes of Yom Kippur prayers. What does it mean for us? We’ll fix the window. And we will continue the make the community a warm, inspiring, and welcoming place. I don’t want to downplay what happened, but such criminal acts have often been our historical companions. We will not be intimidated, and we continue to build — our communities, our families, and Judaism in Germany. Gmar chatima tova.”

On Yom Kippur three years ago, a neo-Nazi gunman attempted to perpetrate a massacre at a synagogue in the central German city of Halle. He was prevented entry, but he shot dead two passersby before fleeing the scene and later being arrested by police.

The number of antisemitic incidents recorded in Germany in 2021 totaled 2,738, up nearly 40% from the 1,957 of the previous year, according to an annual data report published by the country’s Federal Association of Departments for Research and Information on Antisemitism (RIAS) in June.