Bricks Thrown at Cape Coral Shul on Shabbos, Rabbi’s Car Vandalized

(COLlive) -The Chabad Center of Cape Coral, Florida was attacked on Shabbos while congregants were still inside, NBC2 reported.

Shliach Rabbi Yossi Labkowski says an “angry man” used bricks to try and bust in the front door just after their Shabbos morning davening ended.

While many of the congregants had already left, several were still inside, according to Rabbi Labkowski.

“Then we hear this loud noise,” he said. “I was approaching the door and I see somebody picking up a brick and just yanking it, throwing it at the door.”

“He was targeting the Jewish community,” Rabbi Labkowski said.

He wasn’t able to break through the impact-resistant glass, so he turned his attention to the Rabbi’s car sitting in the parking lot. Again, using bricks to smash the front windshield and passenger side door.

“It’s only a car. That can be replaced. Thank G-d nobody was injured and nobody got hurt,” the Rabbi said.

Inside while all of this was happening was Jacob Ben-Haim. He was among the handful of people, including the rabbi’s son, who was watching as the man, described to be in his 40s or 50s, attacked their holy place.

Ben-Haim and others went to the rear door where he saw the man get in his car and speed away.

“I was in disbelief. Disbelief. Could not believe that something like this would happen in Cape Coral,” Ben-Haim said.

Thankfully no one was hurt, but the thought of ‘What could have happened?’ flashed through their minds. Anti-Semitic attacks at Jewish places of worship is, unfortunately, something worshipers at the Chabad Jewish Center of Cape Coral are aware of but hope never happens.

“This person wanted to get in. He was angry,” Rabbi Labkowski said. “For some reason wanted to get in and who knows, he could’ve been armed.”

Both the Rabbi and Ben-Haim think the Jewish community and their Jewish center were targeted. They both call this a hate crime.

“In my opinion, it’s a hate crime,” Ben-Haim said.

“Absolutely,” added the Rabbi. “The fact that he knocked down the menorah first and then he came to this door. He could’ve went to any other business, he came to this door. We don’t live in fear. We are here and we will continue our work and if we have to protect ourselves, we will protect ourselves.”

Still, he said the incident will not deter the shluchim from their work. “We don’t live in fear… we are going to continue our work,” Rabbi Labkowski said.

The Cape Coral Police Department is investigating, according to Rabbi Labkowski. Officers collected evidence, including the bricks used by the man to try and beak in.

The suspect is described as a white man, approximately 40-50 years old, bald and drove away in a gold-colored Ford SUV.

If you have any information that might help investigations, call CCPD or you can submit an anonymous online tip to SWFL CrimeStoppers or call 1-800-780-TIPS.

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