Police: Swastika Found on Sign Outside Pawtucket Shul

PAWTUCKET, R.I. (AP) -

Police are investigating after a swastika was spray-painted on a welcome sign posted outside a shul in Pawtucket over the weekend.

The swastika, about 1-foot in diameter, was found Sunday morning on a sign for the Kollel Center for Jewish Studies at Ohawe Sholam on East Avenue.

Irving Schild, a Holocaust survivor and member of the congregation, was among the first to discover the disturbing image. He called it a “heinous crime.”

Police say the vandalism occurred between 9 p.m., after Motzoei Shabbos, and 7 a.m. Sunday. Officer John Brown says he will turn his report over to detectives, who may investigate the incident as a hate crime.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) strongly condemned the vandalism at Congregation Ohawe Sholam.

“We are appalled by this apparent act of hate on a religious institution. Attacks on places of worship are intended to intimidate community members and it is therefore critical to remain united in opposing all forms of hate and bigotry,” said the ADL’s statement.

“We commend the Pawtucket Police Department for their swift response and for making it clear that these acts of hate simply will not be tolerated or ignored.”

Anyone with any information is asked to come forward and call the Pawtucket Police department at (401) 727-9100.