Yesh Atid MK Dov Lipman visited the Kehillat Moreshet Israel Conservative synagogue in Jerusalem on Wednesday morning to show solidarity with the community, after it was vandalized this week.
On Monday morning, Stars of David with swastikas drawn inside them were discovered daubed on a sign at the entrance to the building – the third in a series of such incidents.
Two days before Monday’s graffiti attack, vandals wrote “Americans out” on synagogue property. In another incident, graffiti was sprayed on synagogue property with a statement that yeshiva students should perform military service.
On his Wednesday morning visit, Lipman spoke with Rabbi Adam Frank, the synagogue’s spiritual leader, and expressed his commitment to do whatever possible to ensure that incidents of this kind do not occur again.
The MK said he was shocked to discover that he was the first Knesset or government representative to reach out and express support for the synagogue, and condemned this lack of response from the Knesset floor.
“As an Orthodox Rabbi I must condemn this incident,” said Lipman in the Knesset plenum on Tuesday afternoon. “We have ideological disagreements with other streams of Judaism and there are difficult issues that we have to work out. But we have to make sure that we treat all as fellow Jews and embrace them as members of the same family.”
Addressing Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, Lipman continued: “There are times when I feel that the incitement towards these streams comes from our house, in the Knesset. I call for a zero tolerance policy and for all of us to unite in making all Jews feel at home in Israel.”
Emily Levy-Shochat, chairwoman of the Masorati Movement (Traditional Movement) in Israel, responded to Lipman’s visit and declarations in a letter, thanking him for his support and efforts to “improve the quality of Israeli society.”
“We look forward to continued cooperation in efforts to maintain Israel’s democracy and role as homeland for all Jews,” she said.
Frank also thanked Lipman, saying that he had “given a comforting and sincere face of official concern for the pain caused to our community and to the hundreds of thousands – yea, millions – of Jews in Israel and worldwide who care deeply for the Jewish state and this country’s official protection of all forms of earnest and sincere Jewish worship and expression.”