Jewish organization's office hit with 'Satan' vandalism

The word "Jewish" was crossed out, with "Satan" written in its place.
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A Minnesota Jewish organization was vandalized, with the word "Jewish" crossed out and replaced with "Satan."

Jewish Community Action, a local community group that works for social changes, said in a Facebook post they saw the "disheartening" vandalism when they arrived at the offices Tuesday morning. The word "Jewish" in "Jewish Community Action" was struck through and replaced with "Satan" sometime overnight.

It's since been cleaned up, and the center thanked people who showed up to offer support.

Executive Director Carin Mrotz even managed to offer a lighthearted response to the incident:

Taken in context, it's the latest in a string of anti-Semitic incidents to be reported in the state. Although recent figures have yet to be compiled, advocacy groups have said there’s been an uptick in anti-Semitism and hate crimes recently.

Two Jewish centers in Minnesota are among the dozens that have been evacuated over bomb threats. And more anti-Semitic vandalism has been reported in places like college dorms and high school bathrooms.

"I do think that these little things like take on more weight when they become cumulative," Mrotz said of the vandalism against Jewish Community Action. "It's like this weird thing where on one hand it seems like less of a big deal because we're more used to it. I mean it's not shocking, because we're seeing so much of it. But at the same time, the fact that we're seeing so much of it creates much more of a public unease."

Rep. Keith Ellison in a tweet called the vandalism "outrageous and horrible," and noted he stands with the group. Mrotz also said they were getting messages right away in the morning after photos were shared on Facebook, with people asking how they could help.

And while she's been working in the field a long time and has dealt with these types of incidents before – including cleaning a swastika off a garage last fall – Mrotz said the younger staff members "were pretty freaked out."

"I think their feeling is, somebody with hate in their soul walked by our office and now they know there are Jews here," she said. "So it does feel a little exposed and public in a way. It doesn't feel good."

In response, Mrotz said they hope to keep working with other groups to "build power together" and combat hate in any form.

"When you're a group like ours that fights for social justice, this kind of stuff doesn't really stop you. It only strengthens your resolve to do the work," she said.

Jewish Community Action said it notified St. Paul police. GoMN has reached out to the St. Paul Police Department for more info, and will update this post when we hear back.

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