Police in Bangor, Maine are investigating reports of swastikas and other anti-Semitic graffiti that were found spray-painted on two city synagogues on Friday evening.
The front staircases and pillars of the Beth Israel Synagogue and the Beth Abraham Synagogue were defaced with swastikas and an upside-down cross with the numbers “666” positioned on the top and sides, according to report. The number 666 is often viewed as a symbol for the devil.
“The only thing I can say is I know there’s been a rash of graffiti in the city. Graffiti is one thing, but when it starts becoming swastikas on synagogues, it’s no longer just graffiti. It’s a hate crime,” attorney Norman Minsky told the Bangor Daily News.
“[it] is a sad reminder that anti-Semitism is alive,” Derrek L. Shulman, regional director of Anti-Defamation League New England, said in a statement released Sunday.
Rabbi Justin Goldstein of Beth Israel Synagogue said the incident was upsetting but isolated. The Jewish community has been gathering at the synagogue for a century, he told the Bangor Daily News, and “this is the only incident like this here in recent memory,” he said.