Vigil sends message of hope

Jewish community supported through peaceful vigil at cemetery

Rabbi Harry Brechner of Congregation Emanu-El speaks to a crowd estimated at more than 1

Rabbi Harry Brechner of Congregation Emanu-El speaks to a crowd estimated at more than 1



An estimated 1,000 attended a vigil to show their support for the Jewish community Sunday after a vandal desecrated the Emanu-El Jewish Cemetery.

In what police are calling a hate crime, a suspect or suspects spray-painted swastikas and other images on five grave stones on Dec. 31.

Rabbi Harry Brechner of Congregation Emanu-El organized the vigil at the burial grounds. At the event, he appealed for respect and inclusivity of the Jewish community and said he wished those responsible for the act of vandalism would come forward, so those affected could understand the reason behind the actions.

On Monday, Oak Bay police revealed the anti-semitic act wasn’t isolated.

A police spokesperson confirmed another swastika was painted on the skate park at the Oak Bay Rec. Centre on Jan. 4.