On Monday night, a concrete parking slab was thrown through a glass door of the Chabad of East Boca in Boca Raton, JTA reports. While some believe the incident to be merely a drunken St. Patrick’s Day escapade, others have connected the vandalism to an article published in a local newspaper the day before, detailing the center’s ambitious expansion plans.
The broken glass and concrete were discovered by a day school student early Tuesday morning. Boca Raton police are investigating the incident as an act of vandalism rather than as a hate crime. Police Officer Sandra Boonenberg, who arrived at the scene shortly after the call, said no anti-Semitic messages or symbols were found on the building.
Rabbi Ruvi New, the Chabad center’s spiritual leader, described the event as “devastating.” New told the Sun Sentinel that since the synagogue is welcomed in the community, incidents like this frighten congregants.
“Overall, the reason this is so jarring is because it’s unusual,” he said. “We are happy to be living in this community … and when this kind of thing happens, it’s isolated and jarring and it sets off a lot of negative memories in people.”