Group Vandalizes Chabad House Menorah at San Diego State University | NBC Southern California

Group Vandalizes Chabad House Menorah at San Diego State University

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    NBC 7's Gaby Rodriguez spoke to witnesses who said a group was egging one man on as he did pull ups on the menorah's lower arm. (Published Saturday, March 25, 2017)

    The menorah that stands on the lawn outside of San Diego State University’s (SDSU) Chabad House was damaged Friday morning by a group of men using one of its lower arms as a pull up bar, multiple witnesses tell NBC 7.

    Chalom Boujnah, the resident rabbi at the Chabad House, says the group showed up to the house, located on the corner of Montezuma Road and Rockford Drive, shortly after midnight and began doing pull ups on the lower left arm of the menorah.

    “I could hear three people egging the one person on and he was doing pull ups on the menorah. They were saying you know it is sacrilege, it is sacrilege. As they were leaving, they were saying the Jews are coming,” explains Omer Zalmanowitz.

    Omer’s roommate was upstairs capturing it all on his cell phone. He said he could hear the group talking about a scavenger hunt, and asking people to take pictures of them in front of the menorah as proof they were there.

    “We have a feeling that it is more like fraternity initiation or some sort of organization that have this type of mission”, said Adam Lavie, who witnessed the entire event.

    Lavie said the group returned a total of three times within an hour. It was the third time the left arm of the menorah was broken.

    Now the residents of the Chabad House are left with the task of replacing the menorah at a time when they aren’t easy to find. The menorah is usually used during Hanukkah celebrations in December.

    A police report was filed. San Diego Police said at this time the incident is being investigated as ana ct of vandalism, not as a hate crime.