Residents find anti-semitic notes on homes, synagogue in Oak Park

A snapshot from a Hebrew High Class at the Chabad of Conejo. This is one of the many synagogues that have been impacted by anti-semitic crimes in recent years. Photo used with permission from the Chabad of Conejo Valley.

A snapshot from a Hebrew High Class at the Chabad of Conejo. This is one of the many synagogues that have been impacted by anti-semitic crimes in recent years. Photo used with permission from the Chabad of Conejo Valley.

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When Brett Solny, a Jewish sophomore who attends Oak Park High School, arrived to school on Feb. 13, he was shocked to see three police cars lined up outside.

Oak Park residents found anti-semitic and hateful notes on the doors of seven homes, one car and Chabad of Oak Park, a religious Jewish synagogue in the area, on Feb. 11. Solny also attends the Hebrew High classes at Chabad.

The notes, containing swastikas as well as hateful messages, were seemingly randomly placed, as not all of the residents of the houses were Jewish. With the exception of the Chabad, this act did not seem to have specific targets, but it still being considered a hate crime, according to a Feb. 15 press release from the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office.

Ventura County Sheriff’s Office obtained notes like these, that were found on seven homes and at a Jewish synagogue in Oak Park, California.

The four suspects appeared to be male teenagers, and the office is “aggressively investigating this case and has developed a task force, and is collaborating with Federal Law Enforcement Agencies to identify the suspects involved,” according to the release.

“It spread everywhere,” Solny said. “We all [talked] about it.”

This is not the first act of anti-Semitism in Southern California, or even in Oak Park.

“In 2010, vandals spray painted the message: ‘Get out of Oak Park’ on the front wall of the small community synagogue when the organization sought to expand its operations,” writes an article from The Acorn, an online newspaper for Agoura Hills, Calabasas, Oak Park and Westlake Village.

Additionally, “In 2014, several Oak Park High School students, including athletes and at least one cheerleader, celebrated Adolf Hitler’s April 20 birthday with a flurry of anti-Semitic and racist tweets that incited fear in the community,” the article continues.

Oak Park has a large Jewish population, and the abundance of anti-semitic incidents do not offer much comfort to these families.

“It hurts everyone, knowing [how] four or five of our peers really feel,” said Solny.

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