Santa Monica temple victim of recent vandalism offers positive message

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On the third night of Hanukkah the congregation at a Santa Monica synagogue took their celebration outside to light the candles on the menorah for everyone to see. 

 

“We have a phrase that we like to say and it’s a little light pushes away a lot of darkness,” synagogue supporter, Sara Newman, said. 

 

That darkness came in the form of vandalism found early Sunday morning. 

 

Rabbi Borsch Rabinowitz arrived to the Living Torah Center to find feces smeared across the front of the synagogue. 

 

Police haven’t called it an anti-semitic crime, but given the circumstances the rabbi believes it was. 

 

“It was just after the menorah was publicly in the window here and when the signs of Hanukkah were up,” Rabinowitz said. 

 

The disturbing desecration of this place of worship, shocked people around the country. 

 

“We’ve been receiving emails coast to coast literally of solidarity and support saying we’re with you,” Rabinowitz said. 

 

It prompted the rabbi to organize a community menorah lighting to stand up to any hate this holiday. 

 

“The response is we’ll just be kind back, we’ll just be good back, we’ll just open up more kindness and goodness,” he said. 

 

That message was received by neighbor June Caldwell who came to show her support. 

 

“I’ve been passing by here since 1992 and it took something like this to bring my husband and me here,” she said.  

It’s not the first time the synagogue has been a target. 

 

Last year they received this hand written note with a swastika.

 

“Whether it’s a synagogue, a mosque, a church it’s not only a crime against that particular religion it speaks to the fabric of society,” supporter, Saul Newman, said. 

 

Santa Monica police are now checking nearby businesses for any security video that will help them identify whoever is responsible for the vandalism.  

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