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Vandalism won't stop Folsom synagogue

Worshipers cleaned broken glass and held Shabbat services
By: Laura Newell, Telegraph staff writer
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A recent act of vandalism won’t stop a local synagogue from practicing their faith. According to Rabbi Yossi Grossbaum, executive director at the Chabad Jewish Community Center, someone threw a large rock through the side window so hard that it hit an arc and cracked one of its doors inside the center at 302 South Lexington Drive, Folsom. Grossbaum said he entered the synagogue Saturday, March 3, to find broken glass all over the room. “We shook the glass off of the tables and held Shabbat services as normal,” Grossbaum said. “After Shabbat we filed a police report and cleaned up.” Grossbaum said this occurrence is “a possible hate crime.” However, the police said there is no evidence that it is anything more than an unfortunate random act of vandalism. “The (vandalism) occurred between 10 p.m., Friday, March 2, and noon the next morning,” said Jason Browning, Folsom Police Department spokesman. “An unknown suspect threw a river rock through an exterior glass door.” Browning said according to police records, “this was an isolated incident and the staff didn’t have any reason to believe they were victimized due to their faith.” Grossbaum said the Jewish community will continue to be vigilant and hope that no pattern develops. “Regardless of the intent of these vandals, we won’t be intimidated or deterred,” he said. “Until now we haven’t been able to afford an alarm system or camera security, but after this experience we feel that it’s prudent that we make every effort to fully secure our community center.” He said the center will continue to move forward. “We won’t allow an event like this to intimidate or deter us from our mission,” he said. “We know that our cause is just and we will continue to spread goodness and kindness and encourage others to do the same. In the context of increasingly worrisome news out of Israel, and against the backdrop of personal experiences with anti-Semitism, it’s easy to get alarmed. One thing is certain, the outpouring of moral support that we’ve received clearly demonstrates the deep emotions that this occurrence has stirred.” For more information or to make donations to the center for an alarm system, call (916) 608-9811.