Authorities are probing an act of antisemitic vandalism discovered Wednesday at a Jewish cemetery in Rosedale as a “bias incident,” a Baltimore County Police spokesperson said.
The graffiti, a swastika found on a wall at Lubawitz Nusach Ari/Ner Tamid Cemetery off Hamilton Avenue, appeared in the period between Rosh Hashana — which was celebrated starting at sundown last Friday — and Yom Kippur — which will begin Sunday evening.
“It’s obviously a sensitive time,” Howard Libit, executive director of the Baltimore Jewish Council said of the period between the High Holy Days, a time of reflection called the Ten Days of Repentance. “It’s a time where a lot of people go to visit the graves of their loved ones.”
County police responded to the cemetery at about 3 p.m. Wednesday and documented the vandalism before the synagogue worked to remove it, police spokesperson Anthony Shelton said. The matter is being investigated as a bias incident — meaning if a suspect is developed, they could be charged with a hate crime.
It’s been over two years since a similar act of vandalism occurred a few miles away, at a Jewish cemetery just across the city line on German Hill Road. Libit, who spoke at a news conference at the time, said antisemitic graffiti has appeared in the Baltimore area over the past two years, but nothing as brazen as the 2021 vandalism on headstones.
“We know there are some people who are filled with hate,” he said Wednesday. “We hope it’s a relatively small number.”