Dozens of bullet holes found in Ohio synagogue
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Dozens of bullet holes found in Ohio synagogue

Community rabbi says nobody was in the building at time of incident, urges congregation to ‘focus inward, on our own rest and renewal’

Temple Beth Israel-Shaare Zedek in Lima, Ohio. (Screenshot: Google Street View)
Temple Beth Israel-Shaare Zedek in Lima, Ohio. (Screenshot: Google Street View)

JTA — A US synagogue in Lima, Ohio, has been shot up with bullets.

At least two dozen bullet holes were discovered in the windows of Temple Beth Israel-Shaare Zedek on Friday and Saturday, according to the congregation’s part-time rabbi, Howie Stein, who reported the vandalism in a Facebook post.

“Friday night, we prayed in a sanctuary with three bullet holes in its windows,” Stein wrote. “Services followed a potluck supper, in a social hall with a minyan [ten] 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. Thankfully, nobody was in the building at the time, and the damage, while emotionally and physically extensive, was not more significant.”

The rabbi said he called on the congregation to use Shabbat to “focus inward, on our own rest and renewal. We must not allow those who hate, and those who act on their hate, to deter us from our cherished beliefs and practices.”

Stein travels to the synagogue, a merged Reform and Conservative congregation, twice a month from his home in Pittsburgh to minister to the congregation.

His profile picture on Facebook is the Pittsburgh Steelers “Stronger than Hate” logo, created after the attack on the Tree of Life synagogue building that killed 11 worshipers.

Lima is in northwest Ohio, between Toledo and Dayton.

In December, a Toledo man was arrested for plotting to shoot up two area synagogues.

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