A smashed window at Temple Israel clearly shows children's drawings of Stars of David, Aug. 17, 2017 (Photo/Mel Waldorf)
A smashed window at Temple Israel clearly shows children's drawings of Stars of David, Aug. 17, 2017 (Photo/Mel Waldorf)

Vandalism at Temple Israel in Alameda; windows smashed

Update, Aug. 18 at 1 p.m: The Alameda community will come together in front of the synagogue tonight at 7 p.m. to show solidarity. Everyone will be invited in for Shabbat services at 7:30 pm.

Police in Alameda are investigating what appears to be vandalism at Temple Israel in Alameda.

Entrance to Temple Israel in Alameda (File photo)
Entrance to Temple Israel in Alameda (File photo)

At about 6pm on Aug. 17, congregational president Genevieve Pastor-Cohen sent an email letter to the congregation stating, “in the morning, it was discovered that two classroom windows had been smashed,” and noting that police and Harbor Bay Security had been notified.

“During our Weds. Aug 16th Board of Directors meeting, we discussed the possibility of our synagogue being a target in our small town of Alameda especially with the ongoing expression of bigotry and anti-Semitism,” the letter continued. “It breaks my heart and soul to be exposed to this type of mindless and senseless action especially aimed at the community I (we) love.”

Congregant Mel Waldorf went to the synagogue after he received the email, and told J. that one of the windows that had been smashed  “was where kids had painted Stars of David.”

He also said that another window that noted this was “the new Temple Israel” had been smashed, and he said that police took away a rock the assailants had used to try and smash in the front door.

“There’s no question that the attacker knew this was a Jewish institution,” he told J.

In her email to the congregation, Pastor-Cohen noted that a security plan had been developed this year by a Temple task force, and added that the plan will be reexamined after this incident  “to ensure our community is protected and safe from harm especially with our High Holy Days coming upon us.”

Police told J. that a report had been filed, and the case was being investigated. No further details were available at press time.

Sue Fishkoff

Sue Fishkoff is the editor of J. She can be reached at sue@jweekly.com.