Minneapolis, MN – A south Minneapolis synagogue closed its doors on Sunday after antisemitic messages were found at a nearby bus stop.
Temple Israel leaders made the decision to move all programming to Zoom “out of an abundance of caution.” Officials plan to open the building back up on Monday.
Jewish leaders said dealing with the increase in hate is tough but they’re pushing forward.
“Words are powerful, words hurt and words can heal,” Rabbi Marcia Zimmerman, from Temple Israel, said.
Within a mile of Temple Israel, words were scribbled on a bench at a bus stop riddled with antisemitism.
“Whoever wrote that graffiti was trying to hurt us with their words, and we are going to counteract it with healing words, not with hate,” Zimmerman said. “Of course, it’s upsetting, to say the least.”
Metro Transit Police was notified late Saturday night that a bus shelter at the corner of Lyndale Avenue South and 31st Street West had been vandalized.
Police documented antisemitic language and a specific reference to Temple Israel. Authorities have since removed the writing.
In 2022, the Anti-Defamation League recorded a 36% increase in antisemitic incidents compared to 2021. It’s the highest number on record since the organization started tracking hate crimes 40 years ago.
“It has always existed in this world. It’s not something new. The question is what we’re going to do about it,” Rabbi Sholom Brook, Chabad Young Jewish Professionals’ co-director, said.
As antisemitic cases rise, religious leaders explained they’re choosing hope over hate.
“It’s really our job to spread the light, spread hope and spread goodness and kindness,” Brook said. “One more action of goodness and kindness will really tip the scale of the world and shine through any darkness and any hate that is harbored in any individual or any group.”
Metro Transit police continue to investigate the incident in collaboration with Minneapolis police.