Swastikas were found on the Chabad of Huntsville on April 10; the suspect reportedly was captured on surveillance footage. Local police are investigating the matter with assistance from the FBI.
Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle said at a press conference in front of the Chabad, “We do not condone this. We are going to make sure we protect our community.”
Huntsville police Chief Mark McMurray praised Alabama’s hate crime law as he said that the graffiti is a criminal act. A reward of up to $2,000 is being offered through Huntsville Crime Stoppers for information leading to the arrest of those responsible for the vandalism. Anyone with information is asked to call 256-53-CRIME (532-7463).
“To the person who did this we’re asking for you to go ahead and turn yourself in” McMurray said.
Passover is an annual commemoration of the story of Exodus. Jewish families gather in homes and retell the story of the Exodus from Egypt.
“An attack on the Jewish community is an attack on all of us,” the federation said in the statement. “It’s meant to terrify us. Make no mistake, we will not be scared out of this wonderful place we call home.
“Instead we will use this as a rallying cry to squelch the sickness of hatred and bigotry in our community,” the statement continues. “Everyone should feel safe to practice their religion and should not be targeted for who they are. Period.”
Tobias Mendelson, president of the federation, called for the community to come together in opposition to hated, bigotry and intolerance.
“We will not let the acts of a vicious individual or small group deter us from staying in a place the Jewish people have called home for well over a century,” he said in a statement.
Battle called the vandalism “thoughtless, senseless and stupid.”
“You can’t fathom why somebody would try to do something like this,” he said. “There’s anger here, there’s sadness.”