MANDEVILLE -- Organizers in the Jewish community held a meeting to decide what to do after the Northshore Jewish Congregation building was spray-painted with messages of hate.
Thursday’s meeting between Jewish community leaders, law enforcement and neighbors lasted about 2-and-a-half hours.
“We discussed taking it down,” Jeremy Shalett, President of the Northshore Jewish Congregation said. “We will be removing it before the high holidays. We don't want to have it up as our congregation comes in. "
On the wall, you can see swastika symbols in red and black with the words “synagogue of satan” and the numbers 14/88 next to it. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the 14 stands for “14 words,” a slogan coined by David Lane who is serving a 190 year prison sentence for his part in the assassination of a Jewish talk show host. Those 14 words are “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for our white children.”
The 88 stands for “Heil Hitler.” H is the eighth letter of the alphabet.
Authorities with the Mandeville Police Department say they are investigating the incident as a hate crime.
Several Jewish and interfaith community and political leaders across the area reached out to show their support, including the council of American-Islamic relations.
“It's amazing to see the support that's coming out of the community,” said Aaron Ahlquist, Regional Director for the Anti-Defamation league. “People just stopping by. There's really a sense that the whole community is behind Northshore Jewish Congregation."
As the congregation moves forward, neighbors we spoke with say they’ll stand by their side.
“We should all be free to worship as we see fit,” Sydney Campbell, a Mandeville resident, said. “This is a free country, we’re all human beings. Whatever your choices are we should be supportive of one another as human beings.”
Leaders with the Anti-Defamation League said they plan on putting out a reward for anyone with information that may lead to an arrest.