Probe into Jewish Center hate crime continues

NORWICH – Members of the Norwich Jewish Center are shocked and saddened by the discovery Wednesday that the inside of their synagogue had been ravaged by vandals in what authorities are calling a “senseless” hate crime.

Walls, windows, furniture, dishes, and light fixtures were smashed throughout the three-story building on 70-76 S. Broad St., investigators confirmed. An undisclosed anti-Semitic message was also tagged on a wall in graffiti and several sacred worship items were damaged. The damage is speculated to be in the tens of thousands of dollars.

“It’s like having your home robbed,” Linda Horovitz, co-president of the Jewish Center’s congregation, said Thursday. “Any crime that’s a crime of hate or violence ... you just feel violated. You don’t feel safe.”

The crime took place sometime between noon Saturday and Wednesday afternoon, when a leader at the center and several caterers discovered the damage prior to preparing for a weekend service.

“It’s emotional ... you’re overcome to the point that you feel like crying,” Horovitz said, when asked to describe how she and others felt following news their house of worship had been defiled. “Then you’re left with a lot of anger, outrage.”

This is the second time in five years the synagogue’s been vandalized. In 2003, windows in the rear of the building were broken out. An individual was convicted of that crime and served time.

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