Vandalism at an Orangevale synagogue this past weekend is being investigated as a hate crime, the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department confirmed Monday.
Posters containing offensive language were pasted to Temple Or Rishon early Saturday morning, sheriff’s spokesman Shaun Hampton said. The adhesive caused paint to be ripped off the walls when the posters were removed, thus giving investigators the property damage needed to address the defacement as a hate crime.
“They were definitely anti-Semitic, racist, racial slurs denigrating the Jewish faith and the Jewish people that were left on the posters,” Hampton said.
The synagogue’s rabbi arrived for Saturday morning services to find 10 to 15 posters referencing Adolf Hitler, invoking the white supremacist website The Daily Stormer and praising the 2015 killing of nine African Americans in a Charleston, S.C., church. Whoever put up the posters had to leap over a fence to do so, Hampton said, and chose to put them up during the Jewish Sabbath.
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Temple Or Rishon’s security cameras captured at least two people on the property when the posters were being put up, president Kimberly Olker said. No footage of the vandalism has been released and the sheriff’s department had not identified a person of interest as of Monday afternoon.
“This is not something to be taken lightly,” Olker said. “Our priority right now is the safety and security of our congregants at the temple.”