New Jersey
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Police have opened an investigation after three swastikas were discovered drawn outside a 90-year old synagogue in West Orange, New Jersey.

The Nazi symbols were written on the sidewalk with chalk in three areas adjoining B’nai Shalom Temple, NJ.com reported.

Based on security camera video, the synagogue estimated that the incident occurred about 15 minutes before the start of Shabbat services. West Orange Township said the swastikas were not discovered until 1:45 p.m. that afternoon, at which point they were cleaned up by a public works crew after police arrived at the scene.

The incident is under investigation by the West Orange Police Department.

Rabbi Robert Tobin said that this was the first occurrence of anti-Semitic vandalism in his 11 years leading the synagogue.

In a joint statement, West Orange Mayor Robert Parisi and the Township Council said: “Such heinous and despicable actions against any one group or individual is considered an attack against us all and our deeply rooted community values. Neighborly love, unwavering unity, and mutual respect will rule the day as West Orange will continue to set the standard in always recognizing cultural diversity as our impregnable strength.”

Rabbi Tobin thanked local politicians for their outpouring of support.

“I have Holocaust survivors walking across those sidewalks every Saturday when they leave my synagogue,” he told the news outlet. “We don’t need to inflict that experience on our survivors or anybody in the Jewish community.”

Earlier in December, a similar incident occurred in Mount Laurel, New Jersey. In that case, a swastika sticker was found on the parking lot sign of Adath Emanu-El Synagogue. The sticker featured a swastika and the phrase “We are everywhere.”