Vandalism At Local Synagogue Follows Fighting In Lebanon

7:56 AM, Aug 2, 2006   |    comments
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By Randy Jackson (KSDK) - It was just feet off of Ballas Road that someone took a can of paint and left a message veiled in hate. On a banner, members of Congregation Sharre Emeth Synagogue had proclaimed their support of Israel during recent fighting in Lebanon. But someone painted the word “Murder” over the word Israel. The apparent threat is disarming to Rabbi Andrea Goldstein. "I know that the congregation have taken steps that we are tightening in our security," says Goldstein. Goldstein says who ever did it misunderstands their message. "We in this congregation are praying for peace both for Israel and for the people of Lebanon. Nobody wants this war to be taking place," Goldstein added. The St. Louis FBI office's Squad 6, the unit which investigates bias and hate crimes, is also now on the case. Special Agent in Charge Roland Corvington says violence a world away is impacting the U.S. "Those individuals that sympathize with parties to the crisis in the Middle East may seek to advance their grievances through such means as what occurred recently at the synagogue or what happened in Seattle recently," says Corvington. Last week, a gunman who blamed Jews for the Mideast crisis, broke into a Jewish center in Seattle, Washington and shot six women, killing one of them. Tuesday at the Jewish Federation in Creve Coeur, a candle illuminated a memorial to colleague Patricia Waechter, who died in that attack. Executive Vice President Barry Rosenberg says members of his organization are no strangers to hate crime and they are vigilant on their west county campus. "We've encouraged all in our organization to review their normal security procedures, make sure they're being followed and evaluate whether there are other changes that should be made," says Rosenberg. Marvin Wojinsky, who works on campus, says he's satisfied with security. "I'm aware of this, I'm not afraid, I feel pretty comfortable," he says. In Hebrew, Shaare Emeth means gates of truth. Tuesday night, a new banner had been raised as members hold true to their convictions.


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