The graffiti scrawled with black permanent marker on Washington Hebrew Congregation had been there for a week before it was discovered on Friday morning, according to a Metropolitan Police report.
An on-duty security guard found the graffiti on the synagogue’s rear doors and bricks, according to DCist. The police report said the graffiti included “numerous anti-Semitic statements, profane language, and child-like drawings of male and female genitalia.”
Steven Jacober, the synagogue’s executive director, said most of the phrases were “anti-Israel sentiments” and the graffiti was “not visible to any congregants.”
Asked why it took a week before the graffiti was found, Jacober declined to answer. The report stated that the police had used a security camera to figure out when the graffiti went up.
According to DCist, the Metropolitan Police Department is investigating the incident as a possible hate crime. There are no suspects.
Congregants were informed of the incident Friday afternoon via email.
The Reform synagogue has faced anti-Semitic threats and vandalism before. Jacober said that as a high-profile synagogue in a metropolitan area, the temple does receive “concerning communication.” In the synagogue receives a threat, it alerts “the appropriate authorities.” Jacober said.
Following the mass shooting last October at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Washington Hebrew Congregation received a phone call, during which the caller said, “I’m so glad that 11 people died at the other temple. I wanted you to know,” according to The Washington Post.
“We stand ever vigilant against all acts of hate and bigotry. As we reject intolerance, we remain committed to ensuring the safety and security of all who enter our facilities,” Jennifer Millstone, director of communications, said in an emailed statement.
This is an ongoing story, and this article will be updated as the story develops.