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Pawtucket Synagogue Heartened By Community Support, Shaken By Vandalism

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Jewish leaders say their community is shaken by recent vandalism at a Pawtucket Synagogue and learning center. Police are investigating a swastika...

Pawtucket Kollel Center for Jewish Studies Rabbi Raphie Schochet speaking with Rhode Island Public Radio's John Bender about the incident, and community reaction.

Jewish leaders say their community is shaken by recent vandalism at a Pawtucket Synagogue and learning center. Police are investigating a swastika spray-painted in red on a sign at Ohave Shalom late Saturday or early Sunday.

Raphie Schochet, a rabbi at the center,  said it’s been disheartening for members of his community to see this symbol synonymous with the Holocaust.

“Some of them are survivors themselves, and so that was really disturbing, and really shook them up,” said Schochet. “And the sense that there is latent anti-Semitism that sort of pokes its head up every once in a while, it’s frightening for people.”

Schochet said he’s received an unprecedented amount of support from passersby, local leaders, and the community.

“I’ve had five offers already to replace the signs, both from Jewish and non-Jewish sources. In general anyone that utilizes that kind of symbolism that’s an attack on all minorities. And that’s cowardly and un-American.”

Schochet says police have classified the vandalism as a hate crime.

Pawtucket Synagogue Heartened By Community Support, Shaken By Vandalism
Pawtucket Synagogue Heartened By Community Support, Shaken By Vandalism