On Wednesday morning, anti-religious graffiti was discovered throughout Bat Yam. On the wall of the Heichal Yaakov shul – the oldest and first shul in Bat Yam, founded 92 years ago – anti-religious graffiti was sprayed. The first to discover the vandalism was Yossi Khalfon, the gabbai of the shul, who arrived to open the shul at 5 a.m. and was shocked to discover the graffiti.
In an interview with a local news outlet, Khalfon said, “This is a very serious case. When I arrived to open the shul and discovered the graffiti, I first davened Shacharis and then immediately went to file a complaint with the police.”
Khalfon said that he thought the graffiti sprayers did not want to send a message to the specific shul and that he thought it was something much broader. “This is not something specific against our shul. In my opinion, it was chosen because it is centrally located,” Khalfon stressed. “There is no other shul in the city with such a large wall. Our shul is one that unites all Jews. We have shiurei Torah for Russian Jews and bring them closer to Yiddishkeit.”
More graffiti was discovered Wednesday in other places across the city, on monuments, plazas and gardens dedicated to commemorate the fallen throughout Bat Yam.
Khalfon said that when he filed the complaint about the spraying on the shul’s outer wall, he was told that “the police will investigate whether the cases are related by comparing the writing and additional evidence.”
Meanwhile, two more cases of vandalism and graffiti were reported. The first was in a Chabad kindergarten on Arlozorov Street and the second one at the entrance to the Bayit Belav Rehabilitation Hospital.