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December 28, 2017 11:39 am

Second Synagogue Reported Vandalized in Iranian City of Shiraz, Torah Scrolls Damaged

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An Iranian Jew prays in a synagogue in Shiraz, Dec. 1999. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

A second synagogue in the Iranian city of Shiraz was reportedly attacked last weekend, with vandals damaging Torah scrolls, siddurim and other ritual items.

The incident occurred Sunday night in the city’s Kashi Synagogue, a day before the Hadash Synagogue in Shiraz’s Maleh neighborhood was vandalized Monday afternoon, Israel’s Channel 10 reported. In the reported attack on the Hadash Synagogue, which was first publicized earlier this week by Yeshiva World News, two Torah scrolls were found torn to pieces and siddurim were discovered in the bathroom.

“In light of these clearly anti-Semitic incidents we call upon the authorities in the Islamic Republic of Iran to ensure the protection of all places of worship as well as all members of our community, and to bring the perpetrators of these criminal acts to justice,” leaders of the Iranian-American Jewish Federation said in a statement.

Jewish community members believe that several different suspects committed the vandalism, but have yet to identify the perpetrators.

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The heads of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations (CoP) said on Tuesday they were “deeply concerned by the reports of the vandalism of the Hadash Synagogue…We call upon the authorities in Shiraz and the central government in Tehran to take all necessary steps to protect the community and bring the perpetrators to swift justice.”

On Thursday, Malcolm Hoenlein — the CoP’s executive vice chairman and CEO — told The Algemeiner that while it appeared the vandalism was localized, and not part of a wider antisemitic wave in Iran, his group was monitoring the situation.

Hoenlein also expressed concern about a recent trend of Iranian government officials using the term “Jews,” instead of “Zionists.” In the past, representatives of the Tehran regime — which seeks Israel’s destruction — have generally avoided lumping Israel and the Jewish people together.

Iran was once home to a large Jewish community. But many Iranian Jews fled the country following the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Today, estimates place the size of the community at around 8,500, with most Iranian Jews living in Tehran, Isfahan and Shiraz.

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