Antisemitic Vandals Target Decatur Jewish Center

Antisemitic Vandals Target Decatur Jewish Center

Rabbi Avremi Slavaticki discovered the window had been smashed, just a few days after the center’s new Torah dedication ceremony.

After 37 years with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and now with the AJT, , Jaffe’s focus is lifestyle, art, dining, fashion, and community events with emphasis on Jewish movers and shakers.

A large rock was thrown in the Decatur Jewish Center’s office window.
A large rock was thrown in the Decatur Jewish Center’s office window.

The shock and dismay of shattered glass brings a rash of emotion — especially just a few days after Decatur Jewish Center’s Torah dedication, or maybe because of it.

On Monday, March 18, a large rock was thrown through the window of the Decatur Jewish Center. The exact time of the incident is unknown. It was discovered by Rabbi Avremi Slavaticki early Monday afternoon as he was approaching the center with a newly printed weekly message poster in hand.

He first noticed the large gash in the window directly looking into his office. When he entered the building, he saw shards of glass all over his desk with a substantial rock lying among the glass on the floor.

The Decatur Jewish Center plans to retain the rock and glass to create a significant piece of representational art.

“It was awful to think of someone wanting to harm our community,” Slavaticki said. “I thought about the message on the sign I was holding in my hand –‘Tracht gut vet zein gut’ … ‘think good and it will be good.’ I realized that there’s an opportunity for growth and spreading positivity even in this situation.”

This act of antisemitism came during a streak of beautiful, uplifting events at the new center. Slavatiki said “We are determined to celebrate our Judaism proudly, even more than before.”

Staying on message, the community continued with the planned schedule of classes and services, even as they dealt with police reports, media requests, and emergency security meetings. Less than a week after the incident, the community gathered for a joyous Purim celebration. “We asked the police to return our rock once it’s processed as evidence, and we saved many of the glass shards, too,” Slavaticki said. “We’re going to turn them into a piece of Jewish art. This is what we do – we turn ugliness into beauty. Darkness doesn’t stop us – it reminds us that our mitzvot have tremendous power to add light.”

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