Police investigating vandalism to Huntsville synagogue

If you have information about the vandalism, contact Huntsville police at 256-427-7009.

Posted: Apr 9, 2020 11:44 AM
Updated: Apr 9, 2020 10:46 PM

Huntsville police are investigating after a synagogue was vandalized Wednesday night.

Someone drew swastikas, profanity and Holocaust references on the property of Etz Chayim synagogue on Bailey Cove Road SE. Police responded to the scene.

Thursday afternoon, community members came together and immediately took action to clean up. Some said they were disturbed by what they saw.

"That's not who Huntsville is, this is not who Huntsville is," Curtis Oakley, who lives in Huntsville, said.

Curtis and Connie Oakley were at home when their pastor called and told them about the Etz Chayim synagogue being vandalized

"This breaks our heart, it makes us mad," Connie Oakley said.

The Oakleys said it's the Christian community's responsibility to be there for their Jewish brothers and sisters, especially since this is one of the holiest weeks of the year for both religions.

"Our hearts are in a better place knowing how much support there is for the Jewish community," Eric Berk, the Rabbi at the Temple B'nai Sholom, said.

Berk described what this hate means to the Jewish community celebrating Passover.

"It really hits you in the gut because, I mean it's as if a church was vandalized on Easter Sunday," he said.

He said images like these make you realize just how much hate still exists for the Jewish community, and he hopes whoever did this is found.

The Oakleys said until then they'll be there to help in any way they can, and pray for the person who did this

"Our hope and prayer is that the people who still have this kind of hatred in their heart would realize this isn't the answer and we're praying that they'll have a change of heart," Connie Oakley said.

Huntsville police said officers are taking this situation very seriously. Leaders of Etz Chayim didn’t want to talk about what happened.

If you have information about the vandalism, contact Huntsville police at 256-427-7009.

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