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Police Investigating Vandalism At Temple During Passover

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Just a few days into the Passover celebration, a Jewish temple in Minneapolis is dealing with a troubling situation.

After Temple Israel parishioners gathered for the traditional Seder, their place of worship became a vandal's target.

"To arrive this morning to vandalism of the graffiti was upsetting and shocking," said Senior Rabbi Marcia Zimmerman.

On stone columns and doorways, windows and signs, somebody spray-painted purple graffiti, including the word, "soap," in a possible reference to Nazi atrocities.

Zimmerman says it's both hurtful and damaging to all Jewish parishioners.

"As we know, the Jewish community, especially this time of year, collectively and historically has been at the end of much vandalism in the past," Zimmerman said.

The search for a culprit already has some clues. Security cameras on the building recorded at least one person in the act, just before midnight. The video is being turned over to Minneapolis police to aid in the investigation.

It appears the Temple wasn't the only target.

Just down the street, the Bridge, a home for troubled youth, was also tagged. The center's executive director wonders if it was mere coincidence or clear connection.

"The temple has been a great supporter of the Bridge and we consider them to be one of our neighborhood allies. So anytime they're affected, we're affected," said Dan Pfarr.

Anyone with information on the person responsible for the graffiti is asked to contact Minneapolis Police.

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