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Wave of anti-Semitism spurs calls for people of all faiths to attend Shabbat services

PROSPECT HEIGHTS, Brooklyn — People of all faiths are being encouraged to "Show up for Shabbat' at their local Jewish temples, regardless of their own faith.  It is a move intended to show solidarity with the Jewish community following the massacre in Pittsburgh.

The Friday night and Saturday Shabbat services also come as a wave of anti-Semitic incidents are happening across the country and in Brooklyn.

At the Union Temple of Brooklyn, police are investigating how a man somehow snuck into the temple Thursday night and used a black marker to scribble various anti-Semitic words and statements through the building.

“Hatred is being inflamed and you don’t come to an arson scene with gasoline and matches,” said one member of the congregation.

It’s at least the second blatant anti-Semitic incident in Brooklyn the week.  Tuesday, several homes in Brooklyn Heights were vandalized with swastikas and racial slurs.

“We’ve seen it in synagogues, we’ve seen it at churches, we’ve seen it in many places,” said Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, of the New York Board of Rabbis. “There is a sickness that pervades too many hearts and places, and we have to stand together to confront it.”

Shabbat is a Jewish day of rest and spiritual reflection often marked with the lighting of candles.  Potasnik is encouraging all to attend.

“We all are going to go and say that even though you want to destroy us, we’re not going to stop living and loving as Jews,” he said.

Mayor Bill de Blasio was to attend services at the Union Temple Friday night.

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