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Caught on video: Woman topples over menorah outside Sunny Isles Beach synagogue

Woman knocks over menorah at South Florida chabad as acts of antisemitism rise to highest levels
Woman knocks over menorah at South Florida chabad as acts of antisemitism rise to highest levels 02:17

MIAMI - Sunny Isles Beach police are looking for a woman caught on video toppling a wooden menorah outside a synagogue. 

This incident occurred just as new data shows antisemitic incidents rising by 140 percent in the U.S. in 2023. 

"To think that in 2024, there's still crimes occurring because of someone's religious beliefs is disappointing," said Sgt. Brian Schnell with Sunny Isles Beach police.  

The incident happened outside of the King David Chabad on Saturday, April 13th. 

The video shows the woman walking over to the menorah, attempting to push it over with one hand, then she drops her bag and uses both hands to push it off the sidewalk and topples it to the ground.

"Obviously, it's a disturbing image. It garners immediate response. Immediate attention because it's obviously not something that is going to be tolerated anywhere in this country," added Schnell.

Police said the next day, they found a message on a bus bench. 

The message read, "God hates all Jews." 

It's unknown if the woman is responsible, but police said it is possible. "And obviously by doing those two events, you escalate a criminal mischief to a hate crime."

According to the Anti-Defamation League, Florida sits atop anti-Semitic incidents, coming in at number 3 with 463 incidents. 

Something Sunny Isles police said will not tolerate in 2024.

"My experience has been that if you are brazen enough to do this, who's to say what you would do next," Schnell said.

Sunny Isles Beach police officers took it upon themselves to remove the nail polish on the side of the bus bench.

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