'Horrifying': Holocaust education sign vandalized in Toronto
Toronto police are investigating after a lawn sign promoting Holocaust education was vandalized over the weekend.
The United Jewish Appeal’s sign, featuring well-known Holocaust survivor and educator Max Eisen, was taken down after someone spray-painted “achtung” on it.
“Achtung” is a German word meaning “attention” or “watch out.”
Sara Lefton of the UJA Federation said the vandalism was “a horrifying thing to see for people in our community.”
In a tweet, the UJA said the vandalism was “anti-Semitic hatred.” Toronto Mayor John Tory, who met Sunday with community members outside the synagogue where the lawn sign was placed, called it “an act of hatred” and urged anyone with information to come forward.
However, police told CTV Toronto that they are not investigating the vandalism as a hate crime at this time because there was no threat involved.
According to the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), hate crimes against Toronto’s Jewish community increased 23 per cent between 2016 and 2017. The organization’s latest report says that while Jews make up just 3.8 per cent of Toronto’s population, they are victims of 28 per cent of all hate crimes in the city.
With a report from CTV Toronto
Over the weekend one of our lawn signs, featuring a Holocaust survivor, was vandalized with anti-Semitic hatred. UJA & our Neuberger Holocaust Education Centre are deeply disturbed by this cowardly & horrific act.Our advocacy agent @CIJAinfo is working closely with police. (1/2) pic.twitter.com/Z54mreIvip— UJA Federation (@UJAFederation) July 22, 2018
Met with @UJAFederation & @CIJAinfo officials outside the Beth Jacob Synagogue in North York where a sign was vandalized with anti-Semitic graffiti. We fully support the Jewish community in the wake of this act of hatred. pic.twitter.com/C9x6A8qykw— John Tory (@TorontosMayor) July 22, 2018