Bullethole found in classroom window at Indiana synagogue
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Bullethole found in classroom window at Indiana synagogue

FBI and local police probing apparent hate crime at Temple Adath B'nai Israel in Evansville; ‘we’re not going to let fear consume us,' rabbi says

Temple Adath B'nai Israel in Evansville, Indiana, where an apparent bullet hole was found in a classroom window, March 1, 2017. (Eyewitness News screenshot.)
Temple Adath B'nai Israel in Evansville, Indiana, where an apparent bullet hole was found in a classroom window, March 1, 2017. (Eyewitness News screenshot.)

The Federal Bureau of Investigations is probing an apparent bullet hole found in a classroom window at an Indiana synagogue as a wave of anti-Semitic attacks continues to sweep the US, media reports said.

Rabbi Gary Mazo of Temple Adath B’nai Israel in Evansville discovered the bullet hole on Tuesday morning and said he believes that the shooting occurred on Sunday, according to 14News.com.

Investigators are going through surveillance and increasing security. FBI officials said this will most likely be ruled a hate crime, the report said.

Mazo told the Indianapolis Star that the shooter would have had to walk around to the back of the building and fire into the classroom from the playground. The attack is believed to have occurred on Sunday night.

“We’re in this climate now where acts of hate are happening everywhere,” the rabbi told the newspaper.

“The goal was to make us afraid, but we’re not going to let fear consume us. We’ll stand up to fear, we’ll stand up to hatred and we’ll stand together. We know this is not representative of our community. We know that we live in a community that supports each other.”

Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke called the apparent shot “a disgusting act of hate and bigotry that cannot be tolerated,” according to the Eyewitness News website.

“What’s happened here, and across the United States, is sickening and unacceptable behavior. Our children deserve better role models than those who commit acts of injustice and hate.”

He called on the community to “come together in support of religious freedom and stand together with our Jewish brothers and sisters.”

A bullet hole in a classroom window at Temple Adath B'nai Israel in Evansville, Indiana, March 1, 2017. ( Eyewitness News screenshot.)
A bullet hole in a classroom window at Temple Adath B’nai Israel in Evansville, Indiana, March 1, 2017. (Eyewitness News screenshot)

Temple Adath B’nai serves Jews of the Tri-State area of Indiana, Kentucky, and Illinois.

President Donald Trump on Tuesday opened his highly anticipated address to a joint session of Congress Tuesday night by speaking out against the recent wave of anti-Semitic attacks across the country.

Noting that his speech came at the end of Black History Month, Trump said the recurrent surges of bomb threats to Jewish institution and desecration of Jewish cemeteries were a reminder “of our nation’s path toward civil rights and the work that remains.”

“Recent threats targeting Jewish community centers and vandalism of Jewish cemeteries, as well as last week’s shooting in Kansas City, remind us that while we may be a nation divided on policies, we are a country that stands united in condemning hate and evil in all its forms,” he said.

In just the last week, hundreds of Jewish tombstones in Pennsylvania and Missouri were vandalized and numerous Jewish institutions received bomb threats, including 29 on Monday alone — the fifth wave of such scares since January.

JTA contributed to this report.

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