Grand Rapids-area leaders condemn synagogue vandalism

Temple Emanuel in Grand Rapids | Facebook

The vandalism of a Jewish temple in Grand Rapids over the weekend has drawn widespread condemnation from West Michigan political leaders. 

As the Advance first reported, Temple Emanuel Rabbi Michael Schadick discovered the graffiti on entrance doors on Sunday morning before the Jewish holiday of Sukkot. He reported the incident to the Grand Rapids Police Department, which did not have any updates Monday but continues to investigate. 

Grand Rapids Jewish temple hit with anti-Semitic graffiti

The Jerusalem Post reported that the graffiti consisted of two anti-Semitic posters, one of which included the image of Adolf Hitler saying, “Did you forget about me?”

On Sunday and Monday, a host of political leaders and organizations, ranging from the Grand Rapids mayor to congressional candidates have condemned the incident. 

“This act of hate has no place here or anywhere,” U.S. Rep. Justin Amash (I-Cascade Twp.), who represents the Grand Rapids area, wrote on Twitter on Sunday night. 

“The diversity of Grand Rapids is a blessing that makes our community stronger and more beautiful,” Amash continued. “We are united against any effort to harass or intimidate the congregation of Temple Emanuel or any of our Jewish brothers and sisters.”

A bipartisan chorus of candidates seeking Amash’s seat in 2020 also condemned the vandalism incident, including Democrat Hillary Scholten as well as GOP candidates Peter Meijer and state Rep. Lynn Afendoulis (R-Grand Rapids Twp.). 

Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss also condemned the incident, writing on Twitter that she was “standing in solidarity with our Jewish friends and neighbors.” 

 

The vandalism also drew the condemnation of the Michigan Democratic Caucus.

“It is high time that all of us, as Americans, come together and speak out against these acts of hate, which afflict so many of our communities,” said Cary Fleischer, Michigan Democratic Jewish Caucus Grand Rapids chair and a member of Temple Emanuel. “We must work together to bring kindness and respect for our differences back to our country.”

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