This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.
This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.
Synagogue In Santa Monica Vandalized On Hanukkah
(Screenshot via Google Maps)The first day of Hanukkah was met with vandalism for the congregants of Living Torah Center Chabad along Wilshire Boulevard in Santa Monica.
Rabbi Boruch Rabinowitz found the front window of the storefront synagogue smeared with feces and rice. A large menorah stands in the window behind where the vandalism was found.
The Santa Monica Police filed a report of the event, Rabbi Tenenbaum told LAist, but the incident has not been categorized as a hate crime as no direct anti-Semitic messages were found.
The synagogue has two entrances, one facing Wilshire, and another in the back for the parking lot.
“Most people come in from the back, so they didn’t even know of it until after,” Assistant Rabbi Dovid Tenenbaum told LAist.
According to the Santa Monica Observer, the window mostly clean before morning prayer service.
“This seems kind of intentional. With a religious artifact in the window, we have to assume so,” Tenenbaum told the Los Angeles Times.
“Hanukkah celebrates bringing a little light in to dispel the darkness of the world,” Tenenbaum told LAist. “Not just to our religious institution, but we hope this holiday will bring awareness to all religious institutions around the world.”
In November, a man entered the congregation during services and shouted “Heil, Hitler” while pretending to hold a rifle.
A year ago, the synagogue received a letter in the mail with a swastika and a note reading “Get out of here, you Jews.” During the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, graffiti vandalized the Living Torah’s sukkah with a swastika.
“There are many times that others have wanted to annihilate the Jewish people,” Rabbi Tenenbaum said, notes the Times. “The Jewish people have succeeded, and we’re still here to talk about it, thank God.”