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CARMEL, Ind. — Hundreds of people from all different faiths gathered at a Carmel synagogue to show their love for the Jewish community after someone left hateful anti-Semitic graffiti on one of their buildings.  

The ground was burned while swastikas and iron crosses were painted on a shed and garbage bins at Congregation Shaarey Tefilla in Carmel on Saturday.  

Rabbi Benjamin Sendrow says the graffiti may have been left to evoke fear, but as Monday night’s gathering showed, it’s had the opposite effect on their community. 

“(It) triggered an outpouring of love and support that wipes away their action better than bleach and fresh paint,” said Rabbi Sendrow. “All they have done is awaken the sleeping giant of love and acceptance and mutual respect.”  

Lindsey Mintz, Executive Director of the Indianapolis Jewish Community Relations Council, says passing a hate crime law is more important now than ever, to “send a message.” 

“There’s a groundswell of support. Certainly the Governor’s statement (yesterday) was really welcome and we are thrilled that he will be putting his efforts behind the passage of this bill. The state of Indiana from policy leaders on down will not stand for acts of hate based on bias,” Mintz said.  

Synagogue leadership says the graffiti will not be cleaned off right away so it can be preserved as evidence as Carmel police continue to investigate and follow all leads to find out who is responsible.  

Yesterday, Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard urged every person and business in the City of Carmel to stand together in support of Congregation Shaarey Tefilla and all those Americans persecuted for their Jewish, Muslim, Mormon, Hindu and Christian faiths by raising their America flags on their front porches, lawns and businesses. 


(PHOTO: Chris Davis/Emmis)