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Anti-Semitic death threat and scorch marks found at Jewish synagogue in NW Portland

Published: May. 2, 2022 at 9:56 PM PDT|Updated: May. 2, 2022 at 10:14 PM PDT
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PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV) – An anti-Semitic death threat written in yellow paint and scorch marks were found outside of Congregation Beth Israel in Northwest Portland the morning of May 2, 2022.

“It wrote, “Die Juden” which is essentially a Nazi slogan, death to Jews,” Rabbi Michael Cahana said.

He said that while this certainly has shaken up the congregation, they will not be intimidated by this act of hate.

“We are not afraid, this is not going to keep us from coming into our sanctuary, we have a right to be in our sacred space and we will be in our sacred space,” he said.

Cahana said acts of hatefulness need to be exposed to help stop it from happening in the future.

“Hate speech is something that is real, it’s happening in front of us and sometimes it’s incredibly obvious like a horrific Nazi slogan spray-painted on the side of a synagogue and sometimes it’s in quiet and personal conversation,” he said. “Hate speech is hate speech, it is harmful and it is important to call it out and to not allow it to stand.”

Cahana said he’s heartened by the outpouring of support the congregation is getting from the community.

Senator Ron Wyden is a member of the synagogue and said in a tweet, “Hate speech and vandalism must never be allowed to terrorize Portland or any community. I stand with Rabbi Cahana and our entire synagogue by adding my voice to his when he says we all must be vigilant against these attacks.”

Commissioner Mingus Mapps also released a statement saying in part, “The anti-Semitic vandalism at Congregation Beth Israel is deeply disturbing and unacceptable. I stand united with Portland’s Jewish community in denouncing these acts. No one should live in fear because of their faith or personal beliefs.”

Cahana said he filed a report with PPB and has also been in touch with the FBI.