US: Beverly Hills synagogue heavily ransacked in anti-Semitic attack
Police in Beverly Hills are investigating vandalism at Nessah Synagogue early Saturday morning after an anti-Semitic vandal broke windows, doors, overturned furniture and heavily ransacked nine Torah scrolls, books and Jewish relics.
An employee notified security when he arrived for work and found an open door and items vandalized inside. Investigators viewed security video and distributed a screenshot of the anti-Semitic vandal.
An investigation found that a man had walked through the streets during the early morning hours committing “a series of minor vandalisms” before he forced his way into the synagogue and vandalized it.
Damage inside the synagogue was “ugly,” according to one witness who had conversations with people who saw the damage first hand, and will require extensive cleanup.
The Beverly Hills synagogue was established in shared space in 1980 to serve Iranian Jews, many of whom fled religious persecution following Iran’s Islamic Revolution in 1979.
“This cowardly attack hits at the heart of who we are as a community,” Mayor John Mirisch said in a statement. “It is not just an attack on the Jewish Community of Beverly Hills; it’s an attack on all of us. The entire City stands in solidarity behind Nessah, its members and congregants.”
Police said they are treating the incident as a possible hate crime.
“Significant efforts are underway to identify and locate the suspect,” police said.
Anyone who has information about this crime or the identity of the suspect is encouraged to call the Beverly Hills Police Department at (310) 285-21-25 or submit an anonymous tip by texting BEVHILLSPD followed by the tip information to 888777.