Poster depicting a swastika found on the grounds of Mt. Laurel synagogue during Chanukah

An Anti-Semtic poster was found in the parking lot of Adath Emanu-El during Chanukah


Jacob Berr

Rabbi David lighting menorah Photo

Jacob Berr, News Writer

An anti-Semitic poster containing a swastika and the words “we are everywhere” was found in the parking lot of the reform Jewish synagogue Adath Emanu-El (Adath) on December 5. 

Adath is located just under eight miles from Rancocas Valley Regional High school. Several Jewish members of the RV Student body and staff belong to Adath. 

“We found a sticker with a swastika on the edge of our parking lot this morning,” Adath’s Rabbi, Benjamin David (Rabbi David) said, “we right away called the police and the response has been remarkable.”

Poster found at the synagogue. Photo by Jacob Berr

A sixth-grade student at Adath’s Hebrew school, a Jewish Sunday school, found the poster. He said he “saw [the poster] on the way out.” According to him, he pointed the poster out to his mom. She then told him to tell the Hebrew school director.

Rabbi David notified his congregation about the poster in a Facebook post. In the post, Rabbi David connects the story of Chanukah, which is about a group of Jews called Maccabees revolting against an anti-Semitic foreign power to the anti-Semitic hate crime that happened on synagogue grounds.

The post encouraged Adath members to attend the synagogue’s outdoor Chanukah event, which they did in droves. The event included singing, dreidel-playing, and hot-cocoa drinking.

Congressman Andy Kim, who represents the district that Adath and RV are in, condemned the hate crime in a tweet.

“It’s disgusting,” the Mayor of Mount Laurel, Steven Steglik said. “There’s no other word for it, especially as our neighbors and friends and families are wrapping up the holiday season for Hanukkah.” 

The Mount Laurel police department condemned the hate crime in a lengthy Facebook post.

There has been an increased police presence at the synagogue ever since the poster was found.

“[I was] very angry because I figured only cowards put stickers up in the middle of the night and don’t stand for anything positive,” RV instructional aide and teacher at Adath’s Hebrew school Cynthia Rosenberg said when first hearing about the poster.

Rabbi David addressing crowd at Candle lighting ceremony. Photo by Jacob Berr

The poster at Adath has not been the only example of an anti-Semitic incident during Chanukah. In London, people spat and threw shoes at a party bus full of Jewish teens celebrating Chanukah. Tunnels near an Anne Frank memorial in Idaho got vandalized with swastikas and other anti-semetic graffiti. In Beverly Hills California, anti-Semitic flyers were distributed the night before Chanukah. These are in addition to the countless other examples of anti-Semitic hate crimes during Chanukah this year. 

If you have any additional information on this case, please contact the Mount Laurel Police Department at 856-234-8300.