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Flagstaff Responds To Hate Crime At Jewish Community Center With Love

People in Flagstaff have responded to a recent hate crime with heart.

When swastikas were found painted on a Jewish community center’s windows in late March, the community covered its fence with hearts made of tinfoil. 

Contractors working to build the Chabad Jewish Community Center found what appear to be hate symbols painted on windows and carved on walls. Several power tools were damaged and paint cans were smashed and dumped on the floors of the center, Flagstaff police say. 

Rabbi Dovie Shapiro says he was shocked but he says it has strengthened his resolve to teach the message of love and acceptance. 

When hundreds of people showed up with tin foil hearts and messages of love over the last few days, Shapiro was overwhelmed.

“That’s the real Flagstaff,” Shapiro said. “You can’t ban darkness with darkness only with light a little light. When people do acts of hatred for no reason the only way to combat that is with love for no reason. It’s uplifting.” 

The Anti-Defamation League is offering a $2,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.

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Laurel Morales was a Fronteras Desk reporter in Flagstaff from 2011 to 2020.