A Woodland Hills synagogue was vandalized — again — with white paint. It’s rabbi says it was a hate crime

 In blog, Crime News: Los Angeles Daily News

A Woodland Hills synagogue was vandalized — again — with white paint. It’s rabbi says it was a hate crime

by Pierce Singgih

The Hebrew Discovery Center, a Jewish synagogue in Woodland Hills, was vandalized with white paint early Sunday morning, in what Rabbi Netanel Louie described this week as a hate crime.

The synagogue, which also runs a Hebrew school, sits between an urgent care facility and an all-you-can-eat sushi restaurant on Ventura Boulevard. The splattered white paint touches the roof of the building front and drips down to the floor. Paint covers part of the sign, front door and front window, and the letters “AV” were still painted near the door, which Louie best describes as the beginning of an unknown word.

As described by Louie and shown in security camera footage, an individual walked up to the synagogue Sunday morning around 4 a.m., threw a new can of paint at the building and ran away.

According to Louie, the Los Angeles Police Department is looking for the individual in question and is investigating the incident as a hate crime. LAPD had yet to confirm the investigation as a hate crime, but L.A. City Councilman Bob Blumenfield, whose district encompasses the southwestern San Fernando Valley, tweeted that he will work with the LAPD to bring “these cowardly criminals to justice.”

“Our community is very concerned and distressed over such vandalism,” Louie said. “We feel [like we’re] being violated and it’s unacceptable.”

This is the third time in three years the Hebrew Discovery Center has been the focus of hate, according to the temple’s rabbi. In March 2017, an individual walked into the full synagogue and threatened to “kill the Jews,” according to Louie.

“I feel violated,” Louie said. “This is not the way humans should live all together… We’re citizens in this country, we should live in peace with each other. Even if you disagree with each other’s opinion, we still have to have basic human respect for each other. Violence and breaking laws are never acceptable.”

Ultimately, Louie and the Hebrew Discovery Center community feel “unsafe” and don’t know “what could be next.”

In April, the Anti-Defamation League announced anti-semitism neared a historic high in 2018 and earlier this March, anti-semitic flyers were found near schools in West Valley

Blumenfield’s office provided a further statement saying, “We must continue to call out bigotry wherever we see it and remain committed to fighting for a more inclusive Los Angeles. There is no place in our community for cowardly acts like this and I will continue to push LAPD to bring this perpetrator to justice.”

Rabbi Louie estimated the damages will cost over $10,000 to repair and is currently looking to raise funds. Donate to the Hebrew Discovery Center here. Learn more about the synagogue here.

All credit goes to Pierce Singgih Originally published on https://www.dailynews.com

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