Rioters in Kenosha, Wisconsin, using the police shooting of Jacob Blake as an excuse to riot, destroy and deface property, and disrupt the lives and livelihoods of local residents showed Wednesday night that not even houses of worship are immune from their mayhem and chaos.
Protesters graffitied property at a Jewish temple and a Christian church, tagging the synagogue with "Free Palestine" and the church with "BLM."
During the fourth night of protests in Kenosha following the Blake shooting and one night after authorities charged Kyle Rittenhouse with homicide for allegedly shooting and killing two people and wounding a third as rioters and "militia" members faced off late Tuesday, things continued to spiral out of control.
At least two houses of worship were tagged by protesters.
Townhall's Julio Rosas caught video of someone in the Black Lives Matter crowd spray-painting "Free Palestine" in the driveway of Kenosha's Beth Hillel Temple.
Someone from the BLM crowd spray-painted “Free Palestine” in the driveway of the Beth Hillel Temple in Kenosha. https://t.co/sJACaqZlai— Julio Rosas (@Julio Rosas)1598504682.0
The synagogue, which sits about a block from where Rittenhouse reportedly shot and killed two people Tuesday night, had escaped damage until Wednesday night, the Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle
Rabbi Dean Feingold told the Chronicle on Tuesday, "All around us, damage has happened. Fires have been started. Windows have been broken. Things have been written on walls. We've been spared so far, except for our power has been out."
The synagogue has not been in use during the coronavirus pandemic. The one person who had been in the building, a retiree and former caretaker who lived there, had already been moved out for safety reasons.
The rabbi also told the outlet that she was far more worried about the loss of life and the causes the protesters are marching for than any damage that could happen to the facility.
"I'm a lot more concerned about the loss of life that the Black community experiences on a regular basis because of systemic racism, because of the violence directed at them, than I am about whatever damage or costs are incurred for us because of it," Feingold told the Chronicle.
The other religious location that was graffitied by rioters was Christ the King Church.
Rosas captured a photo of "BLM" spray-painted on the church sign after protesters passed by.
Church sign in Kenosha graffitied with “BLM.” https://t.co/a7yeNVRSP8— Julio Rosas (@Julio Rosas)1598505988.0
In a statement to the Jewish News Syndicate, Rabbi Feingold made it clear that she did not believe the act was representative of the larger movement.
"We are advocates for justice for all oppressed people. We support the movement for Black lives, and we know that one person with a can of spray paint does not speak for an entire cause," Feingold told JNS. "We pray for Jacob Blake and decry the vigilante murders that took place a block from our synagogue two nights ago. Our call is for justice and peace in our community and around the world."
This piece has been updated with comments from Rabbi Dena Feingold.