Ashland synagogue reacts to menorah vandalism in Medford

ASHLAND, Ore. – A local synagogue is speaking out, after a menorah display in Medford’s Vogel Park was vandalized twice in one week.

Investigators said the suspect in the first incident gave no indication that his actions were anti-semitic when he was arrested.

MPD said he admitted to the vandalism.

The second incident is still under investigation.

And the menorah has to be fully replaced.

David Zaslow, a rabbi at an Havurah synagogue in Ashland, said he’s glad the first incident was not a hate crime.

“Black churches, LGBTQ centers, synagogues and mosques as well are definitely targets of hate crimes,” he said. “So in a way it’s a relief it’s not a hate crime. But we know prestigious exists in our wonderful valley here.”

He said in general, he doesn’t see much anti-semitic activity in the rogue valley.

But he added an increase in hate crimes across the county has forced synagogues in Southern Oregon to have heightened security.

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NBC5 News reporter Zachary Larsen grew up in Surprise, Arizona. He graduated from Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism. At ASU, Zack interned at Arizona Sports 98.7FM and Softball America. During his Junior year, Zack joined the ASU Sports Bureau. He covered the Fiesta Bowl, the Phoenix Open and major basketball tournaments. Zack enjoys working out, creative writing, music, and rooting for his ASU Sun Devils.
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