HARTFORD, Conn. — Vandals painted anti-Semitic graffiti on a Newtown synagogue and police are investigating it as a hate crime.
The public works department helped remove the graffiti on Saturday, and the police chief promised a thorough investigation.
“As an agency we are extremely disturbed at this act of defacing a house of worship,” Chief James Viadero said. “The meaning and symbolism painted on the walls of the synagogue espouses hatred which is not indicative of this community.”
A patrol officer saw the graffiti at the Adath Israel synagogue on Huntington Road around 7:40 on Saturday morning.
“The Congregation Adath Israel was the target of hateful language on the building exterior,” congregation President Benjamin Glazer said Saturday.
The century-old congregation condemns attacks against all religions and institution, Glazer said.
“We vigorously oppose any acts of hate or disrespect,” he said.
The Anti-Defamation League is offering a reward of up to $2,500 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the vandal or vandals.
Police did not specify what the graffiti said, but promised extra patrols in the area as well as a police presence during scheduled services.
Viadero asked that anyone with information about the crime call investigators at 203 270-4255.
This morning I viewed the hateful desecration of Congregation Adath Israel with sadness,” First Selectman Dan Rosenthal said in a written statement. “The congregants of Adath Israel have contributed to the fabric of this community immeasurably for over 100 years.
“I look forward to personally asking the courts to offer no leniency when the vile individual is apprehended,” Rosenthal said.
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