A get-out-the-vote event at a Brooklyn synagogue featuring the comedian Ilana Glazer was canceled on Thursday night after anti-Semitic graffiti, including the words “Die Jew Rats,” was discovered scrawled on the temple’s walls, the police and officials at the synagogue said.
The vandalism, which is being investigated as a hate crime by the Police Department, jarred residents in a deeply progressive area of Brooklyn. It occurred on the heels of the mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue last week and a recent spate of similar graffiti incidents in Brooklyn and Manhattan.
The police arrested a suspect on Friday, Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea said in a tweet. A police spokesman said late Friday that no charges had been filed yet, and he would not release the suspect’s name.
Earlier in the day, the police released a photograph of a suspect, taken by a security camera inside the temple.
The event, at the Union Temple of Brooklyn on Eastern Parkway in Prospect Heights, was to include a question-and-answer session. Ms. Glazer, a co-star of “Broad City,” was scheduled to interview a journalist, Amy Goodman, and two candidates for the New York State Senate, Jim Gaughran and Andrew Gounardes.
But shortly after 8 p.m., Ms. Glazer announced the event was canceled because the graffiti, written with a black marker, had been discovered in various locations inside the temple, which was built in 1929.
Rabbi Mark Sameth of Union Temple said he learned from the temple’s president that the vandalism was found soon after it happened.
“My first response was that it was sickening,” Rabbi Sameth said. “It would have been sickening under any circumstances, but all the more so following the horrific tragic events in Pittsburgh.”
The Police Department’s Hate Crime Task Force is investigating the incident, the police said. Other words written on the walls inside the synagogue included: “We are here,” “Hitler,” “Jew Better Be Ready” and “End it now,” the police said.
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SOURCE: NY Times, William K. Rashbaum and Ali Winston