Vandals hit Israeli Conservative synagogue on Yom Kippur

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When they returned for services the following morning, congregation members discovered that vandals had thrown a fist-sized rock through the synagogue's glass door, shattering it, and that the synagogue's mezuzah had been torn off its doorpost.

Tischler said the incident, which police are investigating, was not the first case of vandalism against the synagogue.

"Someone threw a rock through the shul's kitchen window on Rosh Hashanah, but we didn't report it," he said.

"We built the synagogue with our own funding, and since opening a year and a half ago, there have been lots of little incidents like people stealing our mailbox. We always chalked it up to petty vandalism and didn't go to the police."

He added that synagogue officials decided to contact the police because of similar incidents that have occurred in the Jerusalem area.

The decision was influenced, he said, by an Oct. 7 incident, when vandals painted swastikas and the words "Damned Wicked Ones" on the glass-enclosed billboard at the entrance to Jerusalem's Harel Reform synagogue.

Tischler also referred to an Aug. 31 firebombing of a nursery school operated by the Reform movement in Mevasseret Zion, a suburb of Jerusalem.

"There seems to be a pattern," he said. "To remain silent is probably counterproductive at this point."

Tischler added that vandalism will not thwart the synagogue's efforts to reach out to community members.

"We have about 150 families and are expanding all the time. Many of those who attended Kol Nidre services were in the shul for the first time.

"We will continue to reach out to the community no matter what" happens, he said.