Car hits meter, launching it through sanctuary at Racine synagogue

A car hit a parking meter, launching it through two panes of glass and through the sanctuary at Racine’s Beth Israel Sinai Congregation last week 

It happened before 5 a.m., Tuesday, June 3. No one was present inside the synagogue, said Congregation President Joyce Placzkowski 

After entering the sanctuary, “it went at least another 30 feet,” Placzkowski said. It was airborne because I have a chip of paint pretty high up that I didn’t notice until today. 

The parking meter was hit by a car outside. This sent it through a front window, then through a second pane of glass inside the building. It then traveled well into the sanctuary and ripped through carpeting.  

I swept up most of the glass and vacuumed up what I could, but there was glass on the seats,” Placzkowski said.  

The congregation may hire professional carpeting and cleaning crews to fix the damage. They can take their time getting to it, Placzkowski said, because services have been via Zoom meetings, which have been attracting many worshippers.  

Placzkowski arrived at the scene after being called by Racine Police and a private security service. She said police on the scene blamed inattentive driving. Antisemitism was not suspected, though the incident may serve as a reminder of when antisemitic graffiti was discovered on the building as board members arrived for a meeting in September 2019. 

Racine Police have not yet released an accident report to Placzkowski, and it’s not clear whether the driver sustained injuries.