Temple Beth El menorah
Photo via Anna Horn

The ADL and Silent Observer are offering a sizable reward for tips on the vandalism of Temple Beth El synagogue in Battle Creek.

By Stacy Gittleman

The Anti-Defamation League and the Silent Observer, an anonymous tip line for crime in Kent County, are putting up a combined $7,000 in rewards for those coming forward to tell who has been vandalizing Temple Beth El in Battle Creek.

Tipsters who offer information leading to the arrest of individuals who are later sent to trial on the charges can receive cash awards for up to $7,000, according to a release. The reward consists of $2,000 pledged by the Anti-Defamation League and $5,000 from Silent Observer.

Carolyn Normandin, Anti-Defamation League Michigan regional director, told the Battle Creek Enquirer that it is “very important” to catch the perpetrators.

Normandin said the ADL money comes from an anonymous donor who provides rewards for information about similar acts across the United States.

In January someone painted “lier” below a symbol on a concrete menorah on the front of the building. That same menorah was damaged by a chisel and hammer six weeks earlier in November 2019. No arrests have been made in either case.

The synagogue sits alongside other houses of worship on Capital Avenue in Battle Creek. But it was the only building targeted, said synagogue officials.

According to FBI data, hate crimes in Battle Creek rose 133 percent in 2017.

Temple board members told the Enquirer that they are making preparations to repair the damage and add extra security around the building.

Anyone with information on the vandals is asked to call Silent Observer at (269) 964-3888. People can also text tips to CRIMES (274637) with SOTIP in the message.

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