Synagogue vandalized in Portland, Oregon

A synagogue in Northwest Portland, Oregon (US) was vandalized, with an antisemitic phrase painted on the wall.

A synagogue in Northwest Portland, Oregon, United States, was vandalized with the antisemitic phrase ‘Die Juden’ (‘the Jews’) painted on the outside wall and scorch marks on the doors, reports* The Jerusalem Post. The damage was discovered on Monday at Congregation Beth Israel.

“It’s easy for us in Portland to think this doesn’t happen around here. That we’re free of antisemitism and hate speech, but the reality is it’s very much a part of our world,” Rabbi Michael Z. Cahana said in his interview with the Oregon Live. “It’s very much of a part of the Pacific Northwest.”

Cahana stressed that the vandalism at the synagogue is a sign that the Jewish community should be aware of. Yet, along with the police, he believes that the destruction was the work of people under the influence of drugs rather than part of a bigger antisemitic scheme. He added, “how poignant it is to have this just a few days after having our community’s Holocaust survivors in our sanctuary, where we were honoring their eyewitness, their experience. It really recommits us to being vigilant against antisemitism”.

Senator Ron Wyden, a member of the synagogue, strongly condemns the hooliganism.

“Hate speech and vandalism must never be allowed to terrorize Portland or any community,” Wyden tweeted. „I stand with Rabbi Cahana and our entire synagogue by adding my voice to his when he says we all must be vigilant against these attacks.”

* The JP media wrongly translates ‘Die Jude’ to be a death threat, assuming the meaning from the English ‘die’ verb. It correctly translates to ‘the Jews,’ ‘die’ being the masculine definite article in German.