ANNANDALE, Va. - Fairfax County police are still looking for the person who spray-painted swastikas at the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia.
Surveillance video shows it happened about 4:30 a.m. Saturday morning. Police released pictures from the security footage showing a person tagging 19 swastikas across the front of the center.
“We’re dismayed, but we’re not shocked anymore,” explained David Yaffe, the president of the Board of Directors for the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia. “I think it’s a bit of what is in the air.”
Yaffe is referring to April 2017 – the first time hate speech defaced the building that preschoolers attend.
“It was important that we get this junk off the walls quickly so they don’t have to walk by it and ask questions about it,” said Yaffe.
And the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia wasn’t the only facility targeted. Two other churches have been vandalized in the Annandale area in the last 18 months.
What has been surprising though is reaction to this most recent incident. Yaffe told FOX 5 the center’s switchboard has been inundated with calls.
“The level of community support has been not just a nice counterpoint, but I think indicative of where most people are," Yaffe said.
“This is how people really need to be all the time,” said young Anya Allensworth, who attends “The J,” as the center is affectionately known. “If there’s something that’s going to happen like this, people need to react – all the time.”
Even at her age, Allensworth is aware of what happened. It is a conversation more families find themselves having.
“Since we are an interfaith family, things like this matter to me a lot and I want her to understand,” explained Allensworth’s mother.
“It would be great if this [chalk art] was here all the time,” she added. “It would be great if it didn’t have to be a reaction to something bad.”