Canberra Times reports:
A local rabbi has spoken out against the rise of hate crime after a playground near his synagogue was vandalized with swastika graffiti.
Rabbi Shmueli Feldman, who lives in the area with his young children, said the graffiti had appeared at a playground near the Chabad ACT synagogue in the suburb of Giralang.
“We bring our kids to the park there and many of our community members live in the area,” he said. “We found it there in the park. It was very, very disturbing to see.”
“We haven’t had this so much in Canberra before. Yes there have been anti-semitic incidents here and there, but I myself have seen a spike and it’s worrying.
“In our community we’ve had nearly double the number of incidents in the past three months, as we have in the past year.”
After one such incident, Rabbi Feldman was asked to speak to a group of students who had been circulating anti-semitic material among their group at school.
Rabbi Feldman had a strong and clear message for those wondering what they could do in response to make Canberra a more tolerant place to live.
“There is an old Jewish teaching that a little bit of light dispels a great deal of darkness,” he said. “My message is, ‘don’t be a bystander’. Get involved and act if you see something like this going on.”
A spokeswoman for ACT Policing said they met with Rabbi Feldman earlier in the month to discuss crime prevention strategies in the area.