Antisemitic graffiti found at Racine synagogue

Antisemitic graffiti was discovered at Racine’s Beth Israel Sinai Congregation on Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, as board members arrived for a meeting in the afternoon.

Antisemitic graffiti was discovered at Beth Israel Sinai Congregation on Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019

“At first I was very angry that someone would do this,” said congregation President Joyce Placzkowski, who was first to notice the spray-painted swastika and the word “Jude,” along with three symbols that each appear to be a Nazi-style “S.”

Placzkowski said her anger soon shifted to sadness. 

“It’s just a very sad feeling because of the baseless hatred that someone has for someone they don’t even know,” she said.  “When you do nothing but exist … it’s very sad that someone can have that kind of hatred in their body.”

Rabbi Martyn Adelberg said that throughout his nearly 20 years with the congregation, he’s never had any problems from other faith groups in Racine.

There’s really been no signs of antisemitism from the community, he added. 

“It was totally shocking,” he said, though he hastened to add that he knows the national culture has changed. 

Vandals also wrote a gang sign on a meter on the building. Police responded to the scene after the vandalism was reported.

The congregation will increase security, Placzkowski said.

“It was very disturbing,” Placzkowski said. “For whatever reason no one expects it to happen to them.”