Graffiti found on Somerton synagogue's building

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Rabbi Solomon Isaacson speaks about the vandalism to a construction project that belongs to Congregation Beth Solomon. (WPVI)

Philadelphia police are searching for the suspects who vandalized a construction project belonging to Congregation Beth Solomon in Somerton.

"I don't think this was random only because this was the only building that was chosen in entire shopping center," Rabbi Solomon Isaacson said.

When completed, the building will become a mikvah, housing special pools of water to be used in Jewish purification rites. It is just blocks away from the synagogue.

"The stone that is on here is special Jerusalem stone that we imported because of the sanctity of the place," Rabbi Isaacson said.

Congregants say this is not the first problem at the mikvah and the adjoining shopping center.

They say BBs have been fired and an entire light post in the parking lot was pulled down.

Surveillance video shows individuals have collected at the center late in the night.

Last month, a masked person temporarily blinded cameras with a paintball; the next night, someone climbed the roof and cut the camera feeds.

Last summer, someone stole a menorah from the congregation's main building. The menorah was found a few days later after surveillance video was released.

The paint markings from this weekend are unreadable.

There have been no written threats directed at the congregation, but the rabbi believes there is a message in the actions.

"Call it a hate crime, call it anti-Semitism, call it whatever you want to call it, but obviously this building was picked on purpose," Rabbi Isaacson said.

The graffiti occurred sometime Saturday night and was discovered Sunday morning.

The builder will reach out to the city's anti-graffiti network for information on how to remove the graffiti without damaging the stone.

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philly newssynagoguegraffitivandalism
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