An unknown group of people set fire to the SHAMIR Jewish Community Center in Moscow and vandalized it with the slogan “Death to Jews” and a swastika.
The attack took place on April 20, Hitler’s birthday, but was only reported to the Russian Jewish Congress (RJC) by the Chief Rabbi of the community centre, Rabbi Berl Tsisin, this week.
The fire destroyed part of the front entrance.
No one was hurt in the attack. The damage was estimated to be approximately 100,000 rubles ($1,300).
Rabbi Tsinin told the RJC that police have opened an investigation into the attack but he does not have any further information.
In a Facebook post, the RJC denounced the incident. “The Russian Jewish Congress is outraged by this daring crime, by obvious signs - anti-Semitic. It is unthinkable that such attacks are possible today in Moscow... We demand law enforcement agencies take the investigation under special control, identify and strictly punish (the) criminals. It is unacceptable that this attack (has gone) unpunished.”
RJC added that the SHAMIR Jewish Community Center, which is over 30 years old, has been the target of other attacks in the last two years.
On September 20, a man attempted to break into the building. When he wasn’t able to gain entrance, he defaced the front porch and a service vehicle.
Several people inside locked the door and called the police. When the police arrived, they detained the intruder who was brought to the police station. However, Tsinin said that the man was never charged and the case was closed.
"Our parishioners are afraid to visit us for holidays and prayers, they do not feel safe in our walls,” he said.