Denver Jewish School vandalism leaves students at a loss

Two racist incidents in one weekend: A Jewish school was vandalized and another high-school was spray painted with antisemitic and anti-LGBTQ graffiti.

Denver Skyline at Sunset, Denver, Colorado (photo credit: LARRY JOHNSON/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)
Denver Skyline at Sunset, Denver, Colorado
(photo credit: LARRY JOHNSON/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)

The Denver Academy of Torah was vandalized and nearby George Washington High School was sprayed with antisemitic and anti-LGBTQ graffiti during the weekend of October 15-16, according to local Fox affiliate KDVR.

The graffiti attack was carried out on Saturday night, according to the school's leaders.

On Sunday afternoon, stones were thrown through the windows of the Denver Academy of Torah and its electrical box was damaged.

A witness told the Anti Defamation League (ADL) that he had confronted someone in the act of breaking the academy's windows who countered with "very disparaging" comments about Jews, according to the report.  

Both cases are being investigated by the Denver Police Department's Bias-Motivated Crimes team, but police suspect that the incidents may not have been related to each other.

MEGHAN MCCAIN speaks at Sunday’s rally against antisemitism, as Israeli actress Noa Tishby and Arizona State Rep. Alma Hernandez look on at the US Capitol in Washington. (credit: RON KAMPEAS)MEGHAN MCCAIN speaks at Sunday’s rally against antisemitism, as Israeli actress Noa Tishby and Arizona State Rep. Alma Hernandez look on at the US Capitol in Washington. (credit: RON KAMPEAS)

"I don’t know why people can’t accept us,” Abigail Boyd, a Jewish graduate of George Washington High School, told the local news channel. Boyd also attended the Denver Academy of Torah.

“I don’t really understand why people don’t understand that it’s just a culture,” she said. “It’s something that we believe in. It’s just like being a Christian or something else.”

Colorado has seen a 34% increase in hate crimes between 2019 and 2020, according to ADL data. Furthermore, over 60% of all religious-based hate crimes across the country are against Jews," ADL's regional director said.

The Centennial State is no stranger to violence or antisemitism. In August, a Denver yeshiva student was shot to death in a drive-by shooting.