Swastikas Scrawled on Synagogue, Five Schools in Calgary

Second time Lubavitch center has been targeted; Jewish federation board member in Canadian city: 'It's astonishing it still happens.'

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A man removing a spray-painted swastika on the gate of the Jewish Passaic Junction Cemetery in Saddle Brook, New Jersey, in 1995.
A man removing a spray-painted swastika on the gate of the Jewish Passaic Junction Cemetery in Saddle Brook, New Jersey, in 1995.Credit: AP

Swastikas and other graffiti were scrawled on a synagogue and five schools in the Canadian city of Calgary last week, shortly before Holocaust Remembrance Day, the Calgary Sun reported Tuesday.

"It does conjure up insecurities – it's a particularly heinous act coming so close to Yom Hashoah," said Jeffrey Smith, a board member of the Calgary Jewish Federation. "It's something that all you can do is shake your head, it's astonishing it still happens in this day and age."

This is the second time that the synagogue, a Lubavitch center, has been targeted, the paper said. It said surveillance cameras at the synagogue have led police to three suspects.

Several Jewish buildings in the city were defaced with hate-filled graffiti in 2009, the Sun reported, adding a minor was given 18 months of probation for the 2009 vandalism.

Police said they are examining whether all the vandalism incidents from last week are related hate crimes, according to the report.

"The fact that it was on schools and certainly on a synagogue would lead us to consider these hate crimes," Calgary police sergeant Bill Dodd told the paper.

The incidents come amid a drop in anti-Semitic incidents in the United States and around the world.

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