Sun City temple vandalized on first night of Hanukkah

The menorah in front of Temple Beth Shalom in Sun City was damaged on the first night of Hanukkah on Dec. 24, 2016. (Chris Caraveo/Independent Newsmedia)

By Chris Caraveo, Independent Newsmedia

A Jewish temple in Sun City was the site of a property damage crime over the holiday weekend.

Rabbi Shelly Moss said that Temple Beth Shalom, 12202 N. 101st Ave., near Grand and 103 avenues had its outside menorah damaged, apparently by a truck.

In addition, the temple’s Holocaust memorial and kids’ basketball court were damaged.

The incident occurred on the first night of Hanukkah on Saturday, Dec. 24.

“It’s a hate crime,” Rabbi Moss said. “Sun City doesn’t have hate crime often. It’s really a shock. We have to defend ourselves and go out to the community for their support. There are a lot more good people than bad people but we have to respond.”

Rabbi Moss said the incident is a reflection of the hate crimes occurring all around the country.

No one was at the temple at the time of the crime. On Sunday morning, one of the vice presidents arrived there to check on the menorah when he saw the damage.

The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office received a criminal damage report on the incident Monday morning.

Deputies are investgiating the crime, but they have not discovered any new details since the notice, an MCSO spokesperson stated in an email.

Rabbi Moss put the initial damage repair costs at $7,000, and that is only for the menorah. Temple officials are looking into how to pay for the repairs.

A community-wide service is being held Tuesday, Dec. 27 to inform attendees of what happened Saturday evening.

A GoFundMe page was set up to help support the cost of repairs.

Anyone with information regarding this incident can call MCSO at 602-876-1000.

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