Pittsburgh killings revive unease in Northern Virginia

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Nineteen swastikas were spray-painted on the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia’s façade on Oct. 6. File photo.

The murder of 11 Jews at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh has cast in a new light last month’s anti-Semitic vandalism at the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia, according to David Yaffe, president of the center’s board.

“What happened over the weekend in Pittsburgh has shaken everybody for sure,” he said Monday.


On the day of the murders, Marc Jacob, the center’s associate executive director, contacted Fairfax County Police to request extra patrols. Patrols will continue through the week, according to Yaffe.

In addition, the center hired extra security for the final two days of the Northern Virginia Jewish Film Festival, taking place down the road at the Angelika Film Center and Café, Yaffe said.

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Nineteen swastikas were spray-painted on the outer wall of the center on Oct. 6. No arrests have been made.
It was the second time in 18 months the JCC property had been defaced.

After last month’s vandalism, the center began reviewing its security, Jacob said. Now, the JCC is investing even more heavily into that effort, said Yaffe. He declined to elaborate.


“Unfortunately, I think for many people, this weekend’s events have brought the conclusion that we’re in a bit of a new normal,” Yaffe said. “We can’t take for granted that the anti-Semitism that existed is going to remain below
the surface.”

 

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