OAKLAND, Calif. (KTVU) - Rosh Hashana is among the holiest day for Jewish people. Thousands gather to pray and think about becoming a better person in the coming year. So when someone decided to spray paint hateful obscenities on the side of Temple Sinai in Oakland Thursday morning, it’s particularly disgraceful.
The anti-Semitic graffiti plastered on the side of the building reads, “F*** you Jewish Nazis.”
The irony and pain associated with this statement – when today many Holocaust survivors will gather with loved ones to celebrate the Jewish New Year – is tremendous.
"The words were meant to harm our community. Instead, worshipers at the temple instantly taped paper over the vandalism...— Libby Schaaf (@LibbySchaaf) September 21, 2017
"Handed out pens and crayons, and invited all residents to 'Cover words of hate with words of hope.' ...— Libby Schaaf (@LibbySchaaf) September 21, 2017
"Those are Oakland ideals in play: We take care of each other through kindness, compassion, and action. Today, we sent a collective message:— Libby Schaaf (@LibbySchaaf) September 21, 2017
"Oakland stands united against hate."— Libby Schaaf (@LibbySchaaf) September 21, 2017
Members of the temple have since covered the graffiti with paper and people are leaving anti-hate notes before the paint can later be removed. Service resumed as normal at the area’s largest Reform synagogue, which is sometimes attended by Oakland's mayor, Libby Schaaf, who stopped by the synagogue and repeated the theme that "Oakland stands united against hate."
“While this is surely upsetting, this will not define our experience of coming together as a community today. Our strength and resilience will sound through our voices in song and prayer,” the temple wrote on their Facebook account.
Rabbi Jacuqeline Mates-Muchin was touched by the outpouring of support and love from the community. "Though this day began with upset," she wrote on Facebook, "it ends with my heart overflowing with gratitude, appreciation and love."
Oakland Police Department received the report of vandalism around 5 a.m. Thursday morning. They are investigating the incident and declare that the department "stands against hate and hate crimes."