US police have arrested a 28-year-old man in the defacing of the historic Sixth & I synagogue in Washington, DC.
The arrest of Luis Montsinos came on Monday, shortly after the synagogue announced the vandalism to the public. Montsinos, who has no address, was charged with defacement and destruction of property, as well as resisting arrest.
The police report described the vandalism as a suspected hate crime, according to The Washington Post. It included swastikas and anti-Semitic language, the synagogue’s communications manager, Michelle Eider, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
In an email to congregants, the synagogue’s three rabbis said the damage was minimal and would be quickly fixed.
“In these moments, it’s important to remember that it is not a shame but an honor to be a Jew,” said the email. “It is no small irony that it was our doors, symbols of welcoming and inclusivity, onto which someone spewed hatred and bigotry.”
I am devastated to learn that my beloved @SixthandI was victimized and defaced with antisemitic Graffiti this past Shabbat. I have no words for what this place means to me. My husband converted there. Rabbi Shira married us. My daughter was named there. I am distraught. pic.twitter.com/NwvAVF4T4j
— Carly Pildis (@CarlyPildis) December 2, 2019
In addition to hosting services and Jewish programming, the nondenominational synagogue hosts events featuring well-known entertainers, thinkers, writers and politicians.