The car belonging to the rabbi at the Santa Monica College Chabad was vandalized on October 7 with a swastika on the rear windshield and a Star of David next to the words “Is illegal” on the driver’s side window.
The vandalism was reported by the StopAntisemitism organization, who said that law enforcement was notified and a police report filed.
Rabbi Eli M. Levitansky told the Jewish Journal that he was shocked by the vandalism, and that he was certain that it was a “targeted crime.”
The incident occurred when his car was parked in front of Chabad at Santa Monica College, where a sukkah was in the process of being taken down.
“Well, this was am unpleasant way to start the day,” Rabbi Levitansky said in a Facebook post. “I got a real wake up when I walked into the Chabad parking lot and saw my car vandalized with a swastika, and a star of David with the words ‘Is illegal.’”
He wrote that “in instances like these, it reminds us that there is unfortunately still much darkness in this world.”
He added: “We have reported this hate crime to the appropriate authorities, and thank them for their response and concern.”
Rabbi Levitansky said that “the Rebbe taught us that our response to such a situation is to redouble our efforts in doing good, to bring more light into the world. With that being said, I ask you to join me in doing another Mitzvah. Put on tefillin, light Shabbat candles, give charity.”
The vandalism was condemned by the Simon Wiesenthal Center in a statement on Twitter.
“Despicable acts of anti-Semitism meant to demonize and degrade Jews. Thanks to Chabad Rabbis on Santa Monica College campus and around the world who lead by example to never be cowered by the haters but to always be proud Jews and lovers of Zion,” the Simon Wiesenthal Center said.
Santa Monica College “stands firmly against anti-Semitism just as the college stands against all forms of discrimination and hate,” Michael Tuitasi, Vice President of Student Affairs told the Jewish Journal. “While we cannot control hateful actions that take place away from Santa Monica College, this college is dedicated to creating a safe environment for all our students, and denounces hate speech or actions."
He added: “We urge public safety officials, on and off campus, to leave no stone unturned in their investigation, which hopefully will lead to the apprehension and prosecution of the perpetrators.”