In the wake of a suspected hate crime that saw a menorah at Lake Merritt in Oakland vandalized, hundreds of individuals from diverse backgrounds and faiths came together at the site to relight the menorah in a show of solidarity.
The incident, which occurred early Wednesday morning, involved the menorah being disassembled and discarded into the lake, with its base defaced with profanity and a threatening message.
The act of desecration coincides with the Jewish festival of Hanukkah and comes amidst escalating global tensions following the October 7 invasion of Israel by Hamas and the subsequent ongoing conflict in the Gaza Strip. The Jewish Community Relations Council, based in the Bay Area, has labeled the incident as a manifestation of the increasing antisemitism plaguing the region.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations’ San Francisco Bay Area office also condemned the act, with executive director Zahra Billoo expressing deep sadness and outrage over the vandalism. The Jewish Voice for Peace Bay Area echoed these sentiments, emphasizing the need for unity against antisemitism. Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao also denounced the act, stating that it was not only an attack on the Jewish community but also an affront to the city and its shared values.
Read more at NBC Bay Area.