Two Iranian Synagogues in Shiraz Vandalized Over 24 Hours

The vandals ripped Torah scrolls, which are written on parchment, as well as some 100 prayer books, some of which were thrown in the toilet

JTA
JTA
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Illustrative photo: Youssef Abad synagogue in Tehran, Iran, September 30, 2013
Illustrative photo: Youssef Abad synagogue in Tehran, Iran, September 30, 2013Credit: AFP
JTA
JTA

Two synagogues in the Iranian city of Shiraz were attacked by vandals who damaged Torah scrolls, prayer books and ritual objects.

The city’s Kashi Synagogue was attacked Sunday night, while the Hadash synagogue was attacked Monday afternoon, according to Sam Kermanian, senior advisor to the Iranian-American Jewish Federation, who has been in touch with Jews from Shiraz. The local Jewish community believes the attacks were committed by more than one person, but does not know who perpetrated them or why.

“Obviously they are scared,” Kermanian told JTA. “They’re not comfortable speaking freely, but overall, life goes on.”

The vandals ripped Torah scrolls, which are written on parchment, as well as some 100 prayer books, some of which were thrown in the toilet. They damaged and “soiled” prayer shawls and tefillin, the leather phylacteries traditionally worn by men during prayers. The attackers also broke glass and stole silver ornaments that adorned the synagogues’ Torah scrolls.

“In light of these clearly anti-Semitic incidents we call upon the authorities in the Islamic Republic of Iran to ensure the protection of all places of worship as well as all members of our community, and to bring the perpetrators of these criminal acts to justice,” read a statement by leaders of the Iranian-American Jewish Federation.

The Jewish community of Shiraz, which today numbers about 2,000, according to Kermanian, has faced adversity before. In 2000, 10 members of the community were sentenced to prison terms for spying for Israel. The U.S. government and Jewish organizations protested the charges and verdict.

About 10,000 Jews live in Iran at present. Kermanian said there has been heightened use of anti-Semitic propaganda in Iran in recent months.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

SUBSCRIBE
Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

The projected rise in sea level on a beach in Haifa over the next 30 years.

Facing Rapid Rise in Sea Levels, Israel Could Lose Large Parts of Its Coastline by 2050

Prime Minister Yair Lapid, this month.

Lapid to Haaretz: ‘I Have Learned to Respect the Left’

“Dubi,” whose full name is secret in keeping with instructions from the Mossad.

The Mossad’s Fateful 48 Hours Before the Yom Kippur War

Tal Dilian.

As Israel Reins in Its Cyberarms Industry, an Ex-intel Officer Is Building a New Empire

Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles III and a British synagogue.

How the Queen’s Death Changes British Jewry’s Most Distinctive Prayer