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Police Investigating After Jewish Service Ambushed With Swastikas And ‘Awful Racist Images’

by : Hannah Smith on : 26 Oct 2021 14:42
Police Investigating After Jewish Service Ambushed With Swastikas And ‘Awful Racist Images’@jacksonsrow/@SrebrenicaUK/Twitter

An investigation has been launched after Jewish worshippers were targeted with swastikas and racist images during an online service.

The Manchester Reform Synagogue said its members had been left ‘shaken’ after a number of people ‘hijacked’ the Sabbath service, which was being held on Zoom, shouting abuse and changing images to display antisemitic materials.

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The incident, which occurred on October 22, has been reported as a hate crime and is currently being investigated by Greater Manchester Police. According to the Synagogue’s Rabbi, some of those who attended the service had family who were Holocaust survivors.

Manchester Reform Synagogue (Alamy)Alamy

‘It felt like such an invasion and even though it was online, it felt violent,’ Rabbi Robyn Ashworth-Steen told the Manchester Evening News. ‘Our services are a safe space and it was just really shocking for people.’

Rabbi Steen added that the hijacking was ‘obviously premeditated’, saying, ‘It was clear that someone was trying to get in through the waiting room, people kept coming in with different names so it was quite clear that something strange was going on.’

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Following the attack the Synagogue was met with an outpouring of support from the local community and beyond, with Rabbi Steen saying the response had been ‘overwhelming’.

Rabbi Robyn Ashworth-Steen (Jacksons Row Synagogue)Jacksons Row Synagogue

However speaking to BBC Radio Manchester, she said that more needed to be done to recognise the ‘undercurrent’ of antisemitism in British society.

‘My day-to-day existence of being a British Jew is being safe and happy so I’m holding onto that more than the minority of stuff that happens,’ she said. ‘But recognising it is out there and that work really needs to be done on it… you can’t sit by and be a silent bystander… so, for everyone, it’s about when you see anything, safely calling it out and being with the victim.’

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Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham described the incident as ‘truly appalling’ and promised ‘the fullest possible investigation’.

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Hannah Smith

Hannah is a London-based journalist covering news and features for UNILAD. She's especially interested in social and political activism.

Topics: News, Anti-semitism, Now, Zoom

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Manchester Evening News
  1. Manchester Evening News

    Worshippers left shaken after Jewish service on Zoom was ambushed with swastikas and 'awful racist images'