Virginia JCC targeted by vandalism over Passover

Anti-Jewish and anti-Muslim graffiti also found at nearby church.

Anti-racism protesters deface South African campus with swastikas, pictures of Hitler (photo credit: Courtesy)
Anti-racism protesters deface South African campus with swastikas, pictures of Hitler
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Vandals painted swastikas and derogatory language on the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia on the first night of Passover, the JCC said Tuesday night. A nearby church known for its diversity was also targeted with anti-Jewish and anti-Muslim graffiti.
Symbols and slogans were found on the JCC building, its sign and on a fence surrounding the playground.
An SS symbol and the words “Hitler was Right” were among the hateful messages scrawled across the facilities.
The Fairfax County Police and FBI were called immediately after the vandalism was noticed. An investigation is now under way.
Police confirmed that the crime was committed overnight while the building was closed.
A local power-wash company was called to remove the graffiti.
“During Passover, when the Jewish community around the world is celebrating a time of freedom for our people as well as those who are affected by hate today, a crime like this heightens the reason that organizations like our own exist to bring communities together through messages and actions of peace, acceptance and inclusion,” said JCC executive director Jeff Dannick.
“We are disheartened and deeply disturbed by the antisemitism our campus has experienced today. We will not be deterred from our mission of being an open and welcoming place for people of all backgrounds as we continue our operations as normal.”
Staff from the Little River United Church of Christ reported similar anti-religious symbols and words had been spray-painted on the exterior of their building and around the property.
Police said no other damage was discovered, and the suspect or suspects did not enter either building.
Fairfax County Police called on members of the public to contact it with any information they have about the incident.
This latest incident comes some three weeks after Israeli police arrested an 18-year-old dual American-Israeli citizen suspected of threats to Jewish communities in the US, Europe, Australia and New Zealand over the past six months.
The teen is suspected of being behind more than 100 of some 150 bomb threats to Jewish institutions in 2017. Three Jewish cemeteries have also been vandalized this year.
The JCC has asked the community to remain alert and vigilant.