Safety concerns after Tacony synagogue targeted by vandals

TACONY (WPVI) -- A spate of vandalism at Temple Menorah Keneseth Chai had Tacony Baptist Church was filled Thursday night with concerned congregation members and residents.

Earlier in the day, a crew replaced eight large panes of colorful but broken glass at the synagogue.

The Glaziers Union donated both labor and glass. It has an estimated value of about $3,000.

The most recent incident happened over the weekend.

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On Thursday morning, a crew replaced eight large panes of colorful but broken glass at Temple Menorah Keneseth Chai in Philadelphia's Tacony section.

Malcom Adler showed Action News the damage done to the sanctuary's stained-glass windows.

"I was walking down the aisle here to talk to the cantor. Just as I got to where the cameraman is, the rock came through the window the size of a baseball," said Adler, president, Temple Menorah Keneseth Chai.

It's the second time they've been hit since December.

"The first window was one rock, one window, so it might be one person. The second one was eight windows in the matter of a few seconds, and by the time everybody got up to look out the window, they were gone, so that's why we think it was multiple people," said Philadelphia Police Lt. Dennis Rosenbaum.

Police say both incidents are connected, but are not a hate crime.

"We have no evidence of that. We don't have any direct threats, anything that would make it to that level of a hate crime," said Lt. Rosenbaum.

Tacony Town Watch has volunteered to help routinely patrol the block by the temple.

"I'm still concerned that there are still people out there that would do this to a religious institution, but I feel very gratified that there are also so many good people who are against that, rabbi.

The synagogue is improving the lighting around the building, and has just added security cameras. A $10,000 reward is being offered. Anyone with information should contact Northeast Detectives.
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