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BB or pellet-gun shooting damage reported at Ohio synagogue

It is being considered an act of vandalism, as there was nothing other than bullet holes to suggest a hate crime.

Temple Beth Israel-Shaare Zedek in Lima, Ohio. Credit: Temple Beth Israel-Shaare Zedek/Facebook.
Temple Beth Israel-Shaare Zedek in Lima, Ohio. Credit: Temple Beth Israel-Shaare Zedek/Facebook.

At least two-dozen holes were found in the windows of an Ohio synagogue, damage attributed to either a pellet or BB gun, according to law enforcement, though they said the alleged act was likely not a hate crime.

“Friday night, we prayed in a sanctuary with three bullet holes in its windows,” said the temple’s part-time rabbi, Howie Stein, in a now-deleted Facebook post. “Services followed a potluck supper, in a social hall with a minyan of holes in its windows, brought out from a kitchen with twice as many holes in its window.”

“Shabbat morning, we found three more holes in the upstairs classrooms, no longer used because of the shrinking and aging nature of the congregation,” he continued. “Thankfully, nobody was in the building at the time, and the damage, while emotionally and physically extensive, was not more significant.”

Lima Police Department Sgt. Jason Warren told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that the act, which likely occurred on Friday night, is not being considered as anti-Semitic, but as an act of vandalism since there was nothing other than bullet holes to suggest a hate crime.

“We have kids who think it’s fun to shoot houses and cars,” said Warren, referring to shooting with a BB or pellet gun. “It’s a pretty common occurrence.”

Warren told JTA that police have increased security around the synagogue. At the moment, there are no suspects.

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