Vandalism at 3 New England synagogues aims to intimidate community, ADL regional leader says

May 31, 2016 05:01

BOSTON — Recent vandalism targeting three New England synagogues is aimed at intimidating the Jewish community, the director of the New England office of the Anti-Defamation League said.

Robert Trestan said the attacks at two synagogues in the Boston area and one in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, are part of a spike in anti-Semitic incidents in the region since the start of the year.

Trestan said there is no indication the recent incidents are related, but the short time frame and proximity stand out.

“To have three synagogues targeted in a week within 100 miles of each other, that’s a real concern,” Trestan told JTA. “People are intentionally going onto a property of worship to intimidate the community.”

He said the uptick in reported anti-Semitic incidents since the beginning of 2016 — particularly in schools, but also in the community — runs from harassment to graffiti.

“The incidents already reported to us this year exceed all of 2015, with school-based incidents experiencing the largest increase,” according to a spokesperson at the New England office.

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