Swastika painted on Ballantyne garage door

Local Jewish leaders are speaking out against a spike in recent hate crimes they say is targeting their community.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A family in Ballantyne found a swastika painted on their garage on Tuesday. 

After being targeted, they wish to remain anonymous but leaders in the Jewish community are speaking on their behalf to condemn the hate.

"Imagine waking up in the morning and walking outside and knowing that someone walked on to your property and intentionally put something on your property to instill fear in you," said Rabbi Dusty Klass, an assistant Rabbi at Temple Beth El in South Charlotte.  

Rabbi Klass said the family is members at the temple and the outpouring support since the heinous crime has been incredible. 

"Neighbors actually did help take care of it," said Klass, who added other rabbis in the Charlotte area have called to check on the family. 

This latest incident is one of many hate crimes we've seen recently, targeting the Jewish community. 

"We've had a huge spat of bomb threats all over the country," said Rabbi  Klass. 

Last month, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) reported 82 incidents of hate across the Southeast from January to September, with 15 taking place in North Carolina. 

In October during Rosh Hashanah, a Charlotte man returned home to find swastikas spraypainted on his windows. 

The ADL reports a 67-percent increase in assaults, vandalism, and attacks on Jewish Community Centers in 2017. 

While the family in Ballantyne is coming to terms with being victimized, Hanukkah is just six days away, a fateful twist considering the meaning of the holiday. 

"It's a story of triumph," said Rabbi Klass. "It's a story of light triumphing over darkness."

A fitting ending to a tumultuous few days. 

CMPD is looking into the crime. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600. 

© 2017 WCNC.COM


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