Jewish Temple’s Windows Shot Out on Christmas Day
Stained glass windows and doors were shattered at Temple B’nai Darom in Ocala, Florida early on Christmas Day.
Someone using a BB gun shot up the Temple’s door and windows, according the Marion County Sheriff’s Office.
Incredibly, the Sheriff’s office is treating the attack on the Temple as mischief by someone trying out a Christmas gift, according to the vice president of the Temple, Natalie Raw.
“”The sheriff’s deputy thinks someone received a BB gun for Christmas and came out to do a little target practice,” said Raw.
News13 in Central Florida reported the attack has been classified as “criminal mischief.”
“At this point, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office has classified simply as criminal mischief.
“”We are investigating this as we would other crime,” said Laurel Lettilier, with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office. “If we find anything that would delineate it a hate crime, we fill find it and track down any motives that might be involved.””
The Sheriff’s office says no evidence of a hate crime has been found (except a Christmas Day attack on Jews). There is no suspect as of yet, but that the perp will be charged with felony destruction of property at a place of worship when caught.
Photos released by the Sheriff’s Office show several windows shattered as well as the stained glass on a door.
Ocala.com quoted the Temple’s president, Robert Levenson, saying he thought the attack was a hate crime.
““I think it’s a hate crime,” said Robert Levenson, the temple’s president. “And when things like this happen, it’s hard to keep going.””
The Temple has been repeatedly vandalized over the years despite efforts to be part of the community.
“The members of Temple B’Nai Darom allow neighborhood children to play on their 3.6-acre open lot. It’s all part of being a good neighbor.
“But for years the Jewish synagogue has been the target of vandalism, a cost the small congregation cannot afford. Overhead night lights are destroyed at the synagogue, located at 49 Banyan Course, and there’s been trespassing and destruction at the nearby cemetery.”
Ocla.com reports Temple B’Nai Darom is the second oldest congregation in Florida.