Magen David defaced in Launceston

January 19, 2020 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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A Star of David has been defaced on the outside of Australia’s second-oldest synagogue.

The daubed Magen David on the synagogue

Rabbi Yonachan Gordon

The Launceston Synagogue opened its doors in 1846 operating until 1871. Convicts were accepted to male up a minyan and but could not receive honours. The shul reopened in the 1930s after renovation,

Rabbi Yochanan Gordon has been the spiritual leader of the Launceston community since 2011.

He said: “Launceston has always been a city that got together to fight hatred. From the very beginning of our synagogue when the entire greater community joined the Grand Opening of our synagogue as a sign against those who used hate to impede its opening.”  

Launceston Synagogue

The Governor of Tasmania disapproved of the building of the synagogue in 1846, forcing the community to approach to parliament in London to grant the sanction to found the congregation.

Rabbi Gordon continued: “Today the community has been hurt by the actions of individuals who care nothing about the repercussions of their actions.

When one defaces a Jewish symbol especially on the synagogue it is a crime not just against the Jewish community but against everyone.

The Jewish community is very thankful to all those who have contacted us to tell us of their concern and how appalled they were with this act of hate showing the Jewish community that the community stands together against this disgrace.”

He told J-Wire: “There were no other buildings close to the shul where there had been graffiti. However, I have not had any threats.”

The shule holds a Shabbat service each week. In 1989, the building was listed with National Trust of Australia which has been taking care of renovations and maintenance.

Dr Dvir Abramovich, Chairman of the Anti-Defamation Commission said: “We decry this cowardly vandalism against a Jewish place of worship which is an attack all those who cherish the values of religious freedom.  This is the latest in a string of antisemitic attacks that have occurred throughout our nation over the last few years, and we say once again that such abhorrent expressions of hate-fuelled behaviour run counter to our country’s values of decency and respect for all faiths.  Whenever a synagogue or any other house of worship is defaced,  it sends shockwaves through the community and causes tremendous emotional damage to its members. This distressing act of bigotry is a sad reminder that the virus of antisemitism poses a grave problem and challenge that must be addressed immediately. The ADC encourages anyone with information about this incident to come forward, and it is our hope that the perpetrators of this outrage will be swiftly brought to justice.”

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