A Reno synagogue was plastered with anti-Semitic graffiti over the Labor Day weekend — the second such occurrence this year.
Unknown vandals spray-painted backward swastikas and a death threat against Rabbi Menashe Bovit on Temple Emanu-El, after a similar incident on Easter Sunday.
Back in 2001, Molotov cocktails were hurled at the synagogue, singeing its wooden doors. Local skinheads admitted guilt in that attack and were successfully prosecuted.
“Generally, any anti-Semitic hate crime is an aberration. Unfortunately, there’s a sizable minority in every community that has a deep-seated hatred for Jews,” said Jonathan Bernstein, regional director of the Anti-Defamation League.
“But it doesn’t take a lot of people to cause a great deal of emotional and physical damage. Law enforcement needs to show up en force and send a powerful message out to the Jewish community in Reno that they’re doing everything they can to catch these guys.”
Bovit told the Reno Gazette-Journal he’s not laughing off the death threat.
“One can’t completely let their guard down, but I’m definitely willing and prepared to defend myself, too. I’m not a pacifist. Any Jew who’s a pacifist after the Holocaust is a fool,” he said.
Since the Easter attack, Emanu-El has developed a close relationship with the nearby St. John’s Presbyterian Church.
“Somebody tries to do something negative and ended up starting a nice warm friendship between the congregations,” Bovit told the Gazette-Journal.