Jeff Dannick, executive director of the JCC, said the graffiti was to be removed Tuesday. He added that it was “particularly painful” that the incident occurred during Passover.
“We retell that story generation to generation every year so that we never forget,” he said. “It’s a painful reminder of how ugly and dangerous the world can be, but also how we can overcome it.”
At the church, a swastika was painted on the Holy Week schedule, and a sign that read “Say NO to anti-Muslim bigotry” was crossed out. The words “Jesus knows no traitors” also were written on the sign.
Pastor David Lindsey said he wasn’t surprised the church was a target.
He said the “anti-Muslim bigotry” banner was the church’s latest attempt to reach out to its neighbors. Little River was founded in 1955 as a racially integrated church and started performing same-sex weddings 16 years ago, he said.
“The response was overwhelmingly positive, but every once in a while you’re going to get an incident,” he said of the banner.
The graffiti incidents come after threats against Jewish community centers around the country. As of last month, there were 166 threats made in 38 states as well as three Canadian provinces, according to the Anti-Defamation League.