Indiana synagogue vandalized with Nazi graffiti
CARMEL, Ind. (WDRB) -- Police are searching for whoever spray-painted anti-Semitic graffiti at a suburban Indianapolis synagogue.
Congregation Shaarey Tefilla in Carmel says the vandals struck early Saturday, defacing the bricks of a shed for the synagogue's garbage container. Images posted online show a large Nazi flag among the symbols.
The synagogue said its Saturday services weren't affected. But the congregation president, Corey Freedman, said the vandals caused $2,000 to $3,000 in damage.
"We want them to understand this is not acceptable," Freedman said. "We want them to understand that we are working against these kinds of things. We are disappointed that this occurred. We want them to grow and learn from this. Anybody that has a heart like this right now, needs to understand that this is not the way life is."
Extra security has been put into place at the synagogue.
Republican Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb is calling on the General Assembly to pass a hate crimes bill in response to the vandalism. He said Monday that he'll meet with lawmakers, legal experts, corporate leaders and "citizens of all stripes who are seeking to find consensus on this issue so that, once and for all, we can move forward as a state." He said he hopes a hate crime bill passes in 2019.
Indiana remains just one of just five states without a hate crimes law after Republican Senate leaders this year killed a bill that targeted crimes motivated by bias.
Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard on Sunday condemned the vandalism and said the city's police department was looking for those responsible.
The Indianapolis Jewish Community Relations Council says it has been in contact with police agencies and area synagogues to ensure necessary steps were being taken to further secure their facilities.
Copyright 2018 WDRB Media. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.