Menorah vandalized at Bergen Place Park

(Photo by Chabad of Northwest Seattle)

Update: The menorah has been rebuilt and replaced, and Chabad of Northwest Seattle is on schedule for its Sunday 5:30 p.m. lighting event.

The school is also raising money to build a bigger, stronger Menorah.

Earlier: A large menorah installed by Chabad of Northwest Seattle at Bergen Place Park was torn down Wednesday night, the second night of Hanukkah.

“We are appalled to discover that our beautiful Magen David Menorah in Ballard has been destroyed! Such acts of hate have no place in our community,” the non-profit school posted on Facebook. “We are hopeful the authorities will handle this expeditiously.”

The 9-foot tall Star of David menorah was installed — with a city permit — to celebrate Hanukkah, reports KING 5. Chabad plans to rebuild it in time for a Menorah lighting ceremony on Sunday.

28 comments on “Menorah vandalized at Bergen Place Park”

  1. i’m so sorry <3 there are more who love you than those who hate you – i am sure of this. i hope you feel that during this Hanukkah and after, as well. you are loved.

  2. This is terrible and, sadly, not the first instance of anti-Semitic vandalism in Ballard in recent years. (Of course like many neighborhoods, Ballard had a convenant against Jews and other minorities living here at all in the past.) That said, we’ve survived and thrived through much worse and will do so here and in any neighborhood we choose to live in.

  3. This is terrible and, sadly, not the first instance of anti-Semitic vandalism in Ballard in recent years. (Of course like many neighborhoods, Ballard had a covenant against Jews and other minorities living here at all in the past.) That said, we’ve survived and thrived through much worse and will do so here and in any neighborhood we choose to live in.

  4. It is equally plausible that some of our drug using, up all night, raging street campers with mental issues could have done it. There sure are enough of them roaming Ballard these days.

  5. This disturbs me, as a Jew living in Ballard, and it isn’t the first anti-Semitic incident. I’m glad the menorah is going back up. We have to stand up against any hateful or violent incidents, including more subtle ones, reflecting anti-Semitism, racism, homophobia, Islamophobia, transphobia, etc.

    And to the commenter (Uff Da) who immediately went into a prepackaged-sounding rant about your stereotypes of people experiencing homelessness or mental health issues: you are no ally of mine, and shame on you for pretending to be in order to give yourself a platform for a different flavor of hate. Your hate, too, is an even bigger part of the problem. (If you’re actually a real person and not just a fake caricature someone is using for some misguided purpose of dividing people.)

  6. Why is there a religious object in a public space?

    I’m not condoning any vandalism, but it doesn’t really belong there.

  7. Shelly, I’m curious how many times you’ve complained about a Christmas tree up in public. Or Christmas lights in public. Or that cross-shaped star downtown. Or the Christmas tree on top of the Space Needle. Or anything public related to Santa, Christmas, Easter, etc. If you don’t complain about any of these, but you’re complaining about a menorah in a little urban park space in a city that treats Christianity as the norm, you’ve got some thinking to do, and I suggest you go do it.

  8. Thank you @Manteiga.

    @Shelly, this city (country for that matter) is chock full of Christian objects in public spaces. You probably don’t notice because those are religious objects that are meaningful to you. So when a religious object that doesn’t belong to your realm of observance appears in a public space now you say it doesn’t belong? How self-righteous of you.

  9. Deborah, you obviously don’t spend much time on Market St. or around the downtown area. We have drug using street campers who throw stuff thru windows, even chase diners with glass chards, walk across streets in heavy traffic, kick in car doors, steal to support habits and harass pedestrians -especially women- and do a lot of other destructive stuff. Don’t be totally dismissive of alternative explanations for this wasteful and hurtful act. And, until someone comes forward with evidence as to who did this and why may you ought to keep an open mind. Might even surprise you to learn stupid people on drugs are capable of anti-Semitic acts as well, and maybe not as inhibited. So, please don’t lecture me on possible sources of this vandalism.

  10. Uff Da, that’s a classic straw-man argument. None of us knows who did what, and you’re pretending my argument is something else so you can ignore what I actually wrote about what you’ve actually done. You speak in hateful stereotypes about people without understanding anything about the realities of their lives or the intersectional root causes of homelessness and addiction. I work on related issues professionally.
    Your hate is unwelcome, and part of the problem. Full stop.
    Go do some reading on root causes, real solutions, and how people use what they see or claim to see through a biased lens to justify stereotypes and hate. That’s the story of your kind of hate as much as it’s the story of anti-Semitism.

  11. @Pork Pie

    You win “Intersectional Bingo” when you hit “self diagnosed PTSD”.

  12. @Simon – It’s Seattle Bingo. “Intersectional” completed a horizontal!

  13. How sad. I’m so glad it’s being repaired and I hope I’m able to make the relighting on Sunday.
    I don’t know that it was anti semites, it could have been garden variety vandals. There’s a part of me that hopes so.
    As far as religious symbols in public places – I’m not a member of Christian, Jewish, Islamic or any other religious group with symbols and I would love to see more, not less, of the beautiful symbols of these religions on public or private property.
    They are symbols of hope and love. I know I sound like a bad hallmark card but why do we want to wipe out our differences?
    Why not enjoy getting to experience a bit of someone else’s world?
    What’s that saying, trying to pretend everyone is the same is how we ended up with muzak.

  14. Wish you could edit these things. Not “there’s a part of me that hopes so” but ” I do hope so”

  15. @Mantiega–
    I’ve done plenty of thinking, but thanks for the suggestion.
    I would equally complain about a cross in a public space. Lights are not exactly religious-specific so I have no problem with them. Trees are sort of borderline with their pagan origin.

  16. @SHELLY, LMAO, you DO know a menorah’s just a big candelabra of LIGHTS, right? And unlike a decorated tree with angels, lighting one more light every night in the darkest time of the year doesn’t sound at allll like it has pagan origi–– oh hang on: https://www.haaretz.com/jewish/features/.premium-1.631830
    Plus Chanuka’s one of our least religious holidays, it’s just a festival, as compared to the baby-messiah birthday party holiday. So yeah, the “this thingy was totes pagan hundreds of years ago” excuse smells like a double-standard justification of the things that make your neighbors feel like our cultures are invisible.

    I agree with @mantiega, go complain about the multi-story cross with stars shooting out of it opposite a giant Christmas tree over Westlake. https://i.pinimg.com/originals/bc/40/86/bc4086abdd6aecad1fe0b1af42d484a6.jpg Tell us all about it when you do! Happy solstice & chag sameach. xo

  17. The vandalism is sad. We have no idea who did it, or their mental state at the time but we do know for sure that Ballard is filled with junkie lunatic miscreants who destroy property and harass people of all creeds regularly on Market Street.

    In any case let’s hope the criminals are caught, but please refrain from the Trump blaming (really, look around Ballard it’s almost all PC hipsters or techies now) and the sweeping anti Christmas (muh patriarchy muh liberation) statements. Seattle is one of the most PC cities in the world, and bends over backwards to thumb its proverbial nose at any reasonable public display of Christmas ritual. We should have a lovely tree up in Bergen AND a lovely menorah next to it, not a bunch of bickering about paganism or some nonsense PC tirades.

  18. @SHELLY, LMAO, you DO know a menorah’s just a big candelabra of LIGHTS, right? And unlike a decorated tree with angels, lighting one more light on a menorah every night in the darkest time of the year doesn’t sound at allll like it has pagan origi–– oh hang on… a quick google search reveals it likely does.

    Plus Chanuka’s one of our least religious holidays, it’s just a festival, as compared to the baby-messiah birthday party holiday. So yeah, the “this thingy was totes pagan hundreds of years ago” excuse smells like a double-standard justification of the things that make your neighbors feel like our cultures are invisible.

    I agree with @mantiega, go complain about the multi-story cross with stars shooting out of it opposite a giant Christmas tree over Westlake. Tell us all about it when you do! Meanwhile the rest of us don’t mind those decorations, until you start whinging over what you think a menorah is.

    Happy solstice & chag sameach. xo

  19. Actually, it’s only the time of year (solstice) that has pagan origins; the 8-candle light is distinctly religious.

    It’s funny when people say things like, ” anything public related to Santa, Christmas, Easter, etc. ” is actually some sort of state-sanctioned religious advocacy. Just because you see the Easter bunny or a decorated tree with presents at the mall (which is private) does not really compare. Those are businesses which are looking to make a quick buck and if Santa brings in shoppers then so be it.

  20. Wow, this conversation went places…

    Agreed, Rebecca and Manteiga. Shelly, chutzpah points for attempts at goysplaining Hanukkah to some Jews (while continuing to ignore half of what you’re reading and make/change your arguments selectively). You sure aren’t kidding when you say you feel you’ve done “plenty of thinking” and don’t feel a need to do more. I hope I never feel that way. This holiday season/new year, whatever you do or don’t celebrate, I hope you come to feel differently too.

    Not bothering to reply to Uff Da, who seems beyond hope. I’ll just say uff da, or maybe oy vey, and stick with being grateful to know so most people who have come to understand how insidious, misinformed, and hateful those attitudes are, and how our energy is better spent working to address the real problems.

    Back on topic, I’m thrilled to see the menorah has been rebuilt.

  21. @Deborah, indeed you have commented quite enough on my post. You summarily dismiss members of a group of possible vandals without any evidence to do so, and then go off on a rant. SPD investigators, of course, would not dismiss any group/individuals without a factual basis to do so. Midnight druggie hobos are still on the suspect list unless you have hard evidence to the contrary. They have done quite enough vandalism or other stupid acts in recent times in Ballard and Fremont. I bet you are one of those folks who puts salt and pepper in their soup before tasting. As for “straw man” argument, you might also benefit from a class in logic.

  22. It could have been homeless. There are a lot in Ballard. It could have been Trump supporting white supremacists. We have those in Ballard too.

  23. Uff Da, you missed my point. As I said, I have no idea who did it. What I’m offended by is how you describe people experiencing homelessness and/or mental health or addiction issues. No matter who did it, calling a category of vulnerable people, “drug using, up all night, raging street campers with mental issues” or “stupid people on drugs” is offensive, full stop. By continuing to pretend I’m making a case about who did or did not do it (and not a case about whether those stereotypes are hateful and insidious) and then arguing against that imaginary point, you are making a classic straw man argument. That’s precisely what one is.

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