Anti-Semitic graffiti found on Newtown synagogue
NEWTOWN — Newtown police are investigating anti-Semitic graffiti painted on the Adath Israel Synagogue Saturday morning, according to the department.
“As an agency we are extremely disturbed at this act of defacing a house of worship... This serious hate crime will be given the full attention of this agency, while utilizing other law enforcement resources to determine the identity of those responsible,” Lt. Aaron Bahamonde said. “The congregation has been (assured) that enhanced patrols will continue in the area and that there will be a police presence during scheduled services.”
Police said the town dispatched employees with the Public Works Department to repaint the synagogue and the Anti-Defamation League has offered a $2,500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever is responsible for the “disturbing crime.”
First Selectman Dan Rosenthal described his sadness and anger in a statement Saturday.
“This morning I viewed the hateful desecration of Congregation Adath Israel with sadness. The congregants of Adath Israel have contributed to the fabric of this community immeasurably for over 100 years. Newtown has always been a place where people of all religions are welcome and have worked together hand in hand to build a better community and the hateful actions of an individual or individuals will not change that,” Rosenthal said. “I look forward to personally asking the courts to offer no leniency when the vile individual is apprehended.”
In a statement, Adath Israel Synagogue said it will continue to fight against these types of actions.
“We vigorously oppose any acts of hate or disrespect and will continue to stand united against acts of anti-Semitisim or any other forms of hateful acts against any institution, religion, race or gender,” the statement said. “The security of our congregation and its members is a critical priority. We actively partner and work with local law enforcement on all aspects of security.”
Adath Israel Synagogue said it is in direct contact with the Anti-Defamation League. The synagogue also thanked the police department, Newtown Public Works and Botsford Fire Rescue for their immediate response and in helping with repairs.
“We want to thank the Newtown Police Department along with Newtown Public Works and Botsford Fire Rescue who provided immediate response and supported us with critical repairs
We also are in direct contact with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) who has been working closely with ADL’s extremism and antisemitism experts at their national headquarters
“Our Congregation is a proud 100-year institution of our community which stands for an open and inclusive environment built on kindness and respect,” the statement said.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact the Newtown Police Department at 203-270-4255.