Swastika sprayed at entrance to Pennsylvania synagogue: 'The intensity of hatred is on another level'

Swastika is spray painted on major synagogue in Pennsylvania; Incident goes very public in part due to a tweet by CNN's Jake Tapper, who was bar mitzvahed there

Daniel Edelson, New York|
Cases of vandalism at Jewish synagogues, Jewish property and Jewish-owned businesses have become a common and every day throughout the United States since the beginning of the war in Gaza. Because there are so many cases, they usually go unreported and even fewer reach the headlines. But this is not true of the entrance sign of a major synagogue in Pennsylvania, which was vandalized over the weekend with a swastika and other Nazi epithets.
After one of the members of the Beth Hillel/Beth El Temple in Wynnewood discovered the vandalism, he uploaded photos social networks and soon caught the attention of journalists such as CNN host Jake Tapper, a native of the area, who posted on the X platform that his bar mitzvah was held at that temple.
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צלב הקרס בכניסה לבית הכנסת
צלב הקרס בכניסה לבית הכנסת
Sign for the Beth Hillel/Beth El Temple in Wynnewood
(צילום: מתוך הרשתות החברתיות)
The post received more than a million views. The governor of Pennsylvania, Josh Shapiro, also hastened to respond: "Antisemitism and vandalism of a house of prayer of any kind has no place here. I spoke with the rabbi of the synagogue and told him that we stand with his wonderful community and against hate. Our law enforcement agencies are working to catch those responsible. These hateful acts will never change the fact that no matter what you look like, where you come from, who you love, or who you worship and pray to - you belong here in Pennsylvania.'
Local police said that they have opened an investigation and are checking nearby surveillance cameras to try to find the person responsible. The rabbi of the synagogue, Rabbi Ethan Witkovsky, said that the sign was defaced already on Saturday night, but was only discovered on Sunday morning by members of the community who came to morning services.

This is not the first time that the sign has become a target, and only last week it was replaced after a similar graffiti attack: "Unfortunately, we as a Jewish people have known such hatred for generations, and I have only been here for two years but the intensity of the hatred we are experiencing now is on a different level," he said. "I'm not angry, I just want to find out who those people are, and understand why they do what they do because we have to stop the hatred that is happening now."
Tapper is one of the most senior journalists in the United States and, since October 7 and the start of the war in Gaza, has also become one of the most prominent broadcasters who support Israel on screen. He broadcast from Tel Aviv several times throughout the war, brought to the screen the channel's investigation into sexual abuse by Hamas during October 7, and was unable to hide his tears live when he interviewed hostages who had returned from captivity.
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