List of attacks on Jewish institutions

This is a list of violent attacks on Jewish institutions, such as synagogues, Jewish Community Centers, and the headquarters of Jewish organizations.

Attacks edit

Date Target Location Perpetrator (motive) Details
11 April 1956 Shafrir synagogue Kfar Chabad, Israel Palestinian fedayeen (Palestinian nationalism) Shafrir synagogue shooting: As part of the Palestinian Fedayeen insurgency, three Palestinian militants who crossed into Israel from Egypt attacked the study hall of a synagogue while it was full of children and teenagers, killing 6 people, including 5 children.
25 March 1960 Congregation Beth Israel (Gadsden, Alabama) Gadsden, Alabama, United States Jerry Hunt (white supremacy and antisemitism) Congregation Beth Israel attack: About 180 members were attending a Friday evening service to dedicate the new Zemurray Social Hall, and led by then-rabbi Saul Rubin and Rev. John Speaks and Dr. Franklin Denson of First Methodist Church, when 16-year-old neo-Nazi firebombed the synagogue. He then non-fatally shot two synagogue members who went outside to investigate.[1]
11 January 1969 Congregation Shaare Tikvah Temple Hills, Maryland, United States David Marness (possibly right-wing extremism linked to the Minutemen organization) A bomb planted in the rear wall of Congregation Shaare Tikvah, Temple Hills, Maryland severely damaged the kitchen, social hall, and classrooms, with damages estimated at $200,000. There were no casualties or injuries. Police arrested David Maness in February and found 38 pounds of dynamite and literature from the right-wing Minutemen organization in his home.[2][3]
8 October 1977 Shaare Zedek Synagogue St. Louis, Missouri, United States Joseph Paul Franklin (white supremacy and antisemitism) Shaare Zedek Synagogue shooting: Joseph Paul Franklin fired upon congregants leaving a bar mitzvah, killing Gerald Gordon and wounding Steven Goldman and William Ash.[4]
11 March 1977 B'nai B'rith headquarters Washington, D.C., United States Hamaas Abdul Khaalis and 12 associated gunmen (Hanafi movement) 1977 Washington, D.C., attack and hostage taking: Twelve gunmen took 149 hostages at the B'nai B'rith headquarters and two other buildings in Washington, D.C. After a 39-hour standoff, the gunmen surrendered the hostages were released.[5][6]
July 1980 Congregation Shaare Tikvah Temple Hills, Maryland, United States Vandals broke into the building and attempted to firebomb the bima and ark, but the synagogue's alarm system alerted the Prince George's County Police, who arrived within minutes, thwarting the attack and minimizing the damage.
29 August 1981 Stadttempel Vienna, Austria Marwan Hasan and Hesham Mohammed Rajeh (Palestinian nationalism) 1981 Vienna synagogue attack: Two Palestinian nationals entered the 155-year old Israelite Temple, posing as Jews, opening fire and threw grenades as attendees of a Bar Mitzvah. Two were killed and 18 were wounded. The assailants received life sentences.[7][8]
18 September 1982 Great Synagogue of Brussels Brussels, Belgium Abu Nidal Organization (Palestinian nationalism) On Rosh Hashanah, the synagogue was attacked by a man with a submachine gun, seriously wounding four people. The attack was attributed to the Abu Nidal Organization.[9][10]
9 October 1982 Great Synagogue of Rome Rome, Italy 5 Palestinian militants of the Abu Nidal Organization (Palestinian nationalism) Great Synagogue of Rome attack: On Shabbat morning, as the families of the local Jewish community began leaving with their children from the back entrance to the synagogue, five elegantly dressed armed attackers walked calmly up to the back entrance of the synagogue and threw at least three hand grenades at the crowd, and afterwards sprayed the crowd with sub-machine gun fire. A 2-year-old toddler was killed and 37 civilians were injured. One of the assailants was identified as Osama Abdel al-Zomar, an alleged member of the Abu Nidal Organization.[11][12][13]
1983 Beth Shalom synagogue Bloomington, Indiana, United States The Covenant, the Sword, and the Arm of the Lord (CSA) In the summer of 1983, the Beth Shalom synagogue in Bloomington, Indiana was damaged in an arson attack. Unknown assailants had started a fire at the base of the Torah ark, from which it spread to the sanctuary before being extinguished, leaving tens of thousands of dollars of damage.[14] The group responsible was the white supremacist group, The Covenant, the Sword, and the Arm of the Lord (CSA), which was linked to the Aryan Brotherhood and perpetrated multiple terrorist attacks across America in the early 1980s. The FBI suppressed the group following a siege of its rural Arkansas compound in the spring of 1985.[15]
8 October 1985 Jewish quarter Djerba, Tunisia Tunisian security guard [16][17]
6 September 1986 Neve Shalom Synagogue Istanbul, Turkey Members of Abu Nidal During Shabbat services gunmen killed 22 worshippers and wounded 6.[18]
1991 Crown Heights Brooklyn, New York, United States Riot Crown Heights riot
1 March 1994 Van carrying Jewish students New York City, New York, United States Rashid Baz (Anti-US and antisemitic sentiment) 1994 Brooklyn Bridge shooting: shooting attack on a van carrying Chabad-Lubavitch students crossing the bridge as part of an identifiably Jewish convoy of 20 vehicles carrying members of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement.[19]
20 March 1994 Temple Beth Israel Eugene, Oregon Chris Lord (white supremacy and antisemitism) Chris Lord, an individual associated with the Volksfront and American Front, fired ten rounds with an assault rifle into the temple, damaging the interior. The attacks were prompted by a newspaper article about several members of Eugene's Jewish community, including a lesbian. Community organizations responded by standing vigil outside the synagogue during Passover services. Lord and an associate were caught and convicted, and Lord was sentenced to four and a half years in prison.[20]
18 June 1999 Beth Shalom, B’nai Israel, and Knesset Israel Sacramento, California, United States Benjamin Matthew and James Tyler Williams Sacramento synagogue firebombings
10 August 1999 North Valley Jewish Community Center Granada Hills, Los Angeles, California, United States Buford O. Furrow Jr. (White supremacy) Los Angeles Jewish Community Center shooting
8 October 2000 Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel of Riverdale The Bronx, New York City, United States Mazin Assi and Mohammed Alfaqih 2000 New York synagogue firebombing: On the morning of the eve of Yom Kippur, two Molotov cocktails were thrown, but did not ignite, at the door of the Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel of Riverdale (CSAIR) in The Bronx in New York City. Two Palestinian men were arrested and found guilty for the attack.[21][22][23]
2000 Temple Beth El Syracuse, New York, United States Arson attack on Temple Beth El in Syracuse, New York. Hate crime by perpetrator who claimed Palestinian descent.[24]
2000 Beth El, Pittsburgh, and Congregation Ahavath Achim Carnegie, Pennsylvania, United States Richard Baumhammers (White supremacy) White supremacist Richard Baumhammers shot out windows at Congregation Beth El, Pittsburgh, and Congregation Ahavath Achim in Carnegie, Pennsylvania.[21]
4 July 2002 Los Angeles International Airport Los Angeles, California, United States Hesham Mohamed Hadayet (Palestinian nationalism) 2002 Los Angeles International Airport shooting: At 11:30am on 4 July 2002, Hesham Mohamed Hadayet, a 41-year-old Egyptian national, approached the El Al ticket counter inside the Tom Bradley International Terminal at the Los Angeles International Airport, pulled out two Glock pistols, and started shooting at the 90 passengers standing in the line. Hadayet killed Customer Service Agent Victoria Hen and 46-year-old bystander Yaakov Aminov before being killed himself.[25][26]
25 October 2002 Temple Beth Israel Eugene, Oregon Members of Volksfront (white supremacy and antisemitism) Jacob Laskey, his brother Gabriel Laskey, Gerald Poundstone, Jesse Baker, and one other man, all members of the Volksfront, drove to Beth Israel with the intent of intimidating the congregants. While a service with 80 members attending was taking place, the men threw rocks etched with Nazi swastikas through the synagogue's stained glass windows, then sped off. The men were caught, pleaded guilty, and were convicted. They served sentences ranging from a 6-month work release term and five years probation, to eleven years and three months in federal prison for the ringleader, Jacob Laskey.[27][28]
2003 Valley Beth Shalom Encino, California, United States Molotov cocktail thrown through window at Valley Beth Shalom synagogue in Encino, California.[citation needed]
28 July 2006 Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle Seattle, Washington, United States Naveed Afzal Haq (Unknown) Seattle Jewish Federation shooting
10 June 2009 United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Washington, D.C., United States James Wenneker von Brunn (Antisemitism, Holocaust denial) United States Holocaust Memorial Museum shooting
11 January 2012 Rutherford and Paramus, New Jersey, United States Anthony Graziano (Antisemitism) Firebombing in Rutherford and Paramus, NJ.[29]
13 April 2014 Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City and Village Shalom Overland Park, Kansas, United States Frazier Glenn Miller Jr. (White supremacy) Overland Park Jewish Community Center shooting
18 November 2014 Kehilat Bnei Torah synagogue Har Nof, Jerusalem, Israel Uday Abu Jamal and Ghassan Abu Jamal (Palestinian nationalism) 2014 Jerusalem synagogue attack
14 February 2015 Great Synagogue (Copenhagen) Copenhagen, Denmark Omar Abdel Hamid El-Hussein (Islamic extremism) 2015 Copenhagen shootings
11 February 2016 Nazareth Restaurant Columbus, Ohio, U.S. Mohamed Barry (Islamic extremism) 2016 Ohio restaurant machete attack: Islamist attack on a Middle Eastern restaurant displaying an Israeli flag.
9 December 2017 Gothenburg Synagogue Gothenburg, Sweden Two Palestinians, one Syrian migrant, unidentified others (Islamic extremism, anti-Israel) After marches protesting the United States recognition of Jerusalem as capital of Israel, more than a dozen hurled firebombs at the Gothenburg Synagogue while teens from the local Jewish community were attending a party inside. No one was injured and there was no major damage to the property. On 25 June 2018, two Palestinians and one Syrian migrant were convicted for participation. Two were sentenced to two years in prison and the third was sentenced to 15 months.[30][31]
27 October 2018 Tree of Life – Or L'Simcha Congregation Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States Robert Bowers (White supremacy) Pittsburgh synagogue shooting
27 April 2019 Chabad of Poway Poway, California, United States John Earnest (White supremacy) Poway synagogue shooting:[32]
28 July 2019 Young Israel of Greater Miami Miami Beach, Florida, United States Carlints St. Louis A member of the synagogue in N. Miami Beach, FL, 68, was shot in the legs, as he was unlocking the front doors of the synagogue prior to a religious service. The suspect, Carlints St. Louis of Hallandale drove up in a black Chevrolet Impala, and shot him multiple times.[33]
9 October 2019 Halle Synagogue Halle, Germany Stephan Balliet (White supremacy) Halle synagogue shooting
10 December 2019 JC Kosher Supermarket Jersey City, New Jersey, United States David Anderson and Francine Graham (Antisemitism, anti-police sentiment) 2019 Jersey City shooting: Shooting at a Kosher supermarket in Jersey City, New Jersey.[34][35]
28 December 2019 Monsey, New York, United States Grafton E. Thomas (Antisemitism) Monsey Hanukkah stabbing: Five people were stabbed during Hanukkah festivities at the home of a rabbi (which was being used as a synagogue) in Monsey, New York.[36]
15 January 2022 Colleyville synagogue Colleyville, Texas, United States Malik Faisal Akram (Islamic extremism) Colleyville synagogue hostage crisis: Four hostages taken at a synagogue in Colleyville, Texas.[37]
27 January 2023 Neve Yaakov synagogue Neve Yaakov, East Jerusalem Khairi Alqam (Unknown) 2023 Neve Yaakov shooting
9 May 2023 El Ghriba Synagogue Djerba, Tunisia Wissam Khazri (Unknown) 2023 Djerba shooting
18 October 2023 Synagogue Brunnenstraße Berlin, Germany First attack: two unidentified assailants. Second (thwarted) attack: a 30-year-old man wearing a Palestinian scarf (Police stated that the man arrested was shouting inflammatory and anti-Israel slogans) There were two attempted attacks on the Jewish Community Centre in Berlin's Mitte district; the first involved Molotov cocktails being thrown at the building, causing no injuries or damage, and the second involved a man wearing a Palestinian scarf and shouting anti-Israeli slogans, who was thwarted when he forced his way to the entrance despite a police cordon.[38]
1 November 2023 Jewish section of Vienna Central Cemetery Vienna, Austria Unknown Unidentified vandals set a fire and sprayed swastikas on external walls overnight in the Jewish section of the Vienna Central Cemetery. The entrance lobby to a ceremonial hall was burned for the first time since the 1938 Kristallnacht pogrom by the Nazis, but there were no injuries. The attack was condemned by Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer.[39][40][41]
23 November 2023 Mordechai Navi Synagogue Yerevan, Armenia Unknown A vandal poured fuel on the synagogue's door, setting the building on fire. No serious damage was reported and no one was in the building at the time. Videos of the incident were shared by news outlets in Azerbaijan, against whom Armenia has fought several wars. The following day, Armenian authorities opened an investigation.[42]
5 April 2024 Oldenburg Synagogue Oldenburg, Germany Unknown Arson attack on a synagogue in the city of Oldenburg, Lower Saxony, Germany. German police have offered a cash reward for information about an arson attack.[43]

Failed attacks edit

A number of planned attacks were unsuccessful, either due to prevention by authorities or failed execution.

Disruption date Target Location Perpetrator (motive) Details
12 November 1957 Temple Beth El Charlotte, North Carolina, United States Unknown 6 sticks of dynamite with party burned 14-foot fuse was discovered outside the synagogue[49]
9 February 1958 Temple Emanuel Gastonia, North Carolina, United States Unknown Thirty sticks of dynamite discovered by police in a suitcase outside the synagogue[49][44]
April 2001 United States Holocaust Museum, the New England Holocaust Memorial, Anti-Defamation League offices, well-known American Jews, including Steven Spielberg; and black leaders, including Rev. Jesse Jackson Northeastern United States Leo Felton from the White Order of Thule and Erica Chase of the Creativity Movement (white supremacy, antisemitism) 2002 white supremacist terror plot: Felton, the mixed-race son of a civil rights activist, and his girlfriend Chase planned to build a fertilizer bomb like one used in the Oklahoma City bombing and attack landmarks associated with American Jews and African Americans to incite a racial holy war. Felton and Chase were convicted for the plot on 27 July 2002. Felton received 21 years and 10 months in prison.[50][51]
July 2005 Synagogues, Israeli consulate, U.S. military facilities Southern California Kevin James, Levar Haley Washington, Gregory Vernon Patterson, Hammad Riaz Samana (Islamic extremism) 2005 Los Angeles bomb plot: A group of ex-convicts formed the radical Islamic group Jam’iyyat Ul-Islam Is-Saheeh from inside prison. The group, led by James, planned to rob gas stations in southern California and attack "enemies of Islam."[52][53]
17 September 2008 Stewart Air National Guard Base, Riverdale Temple, Riverdale Jewish Center Riverdale, New York James Cromitie, David Williams, Onta Williams, Laguerre Payen (antisemitism, anti-Americanism) Bronx terrorism plot: Cromitie, Williams, Williams, and Payen planned to bomb the Riverdale Temple and nearby Riverdale Jewish Center. They were also to fire Stinger surface-to-air guided missiles at military planes at Stewart Air National Guard Base.[54][55]
21 March 2009 Ida Crown Jewish Academy Chicago, Illinois, United States Mohammed Alkaramla (anti-Israel) During the 2008-2009 Gaza war, 25-year-old Mohammed Alkaramla, a native of Jordan, mailed a letter threatening to blow up a Jewish high school if Israel didn't withdraw troops from Gaza. In July 2010, Alkaramla was found guilty of one count of making threats against the school. He was sentenced to 25 months in prison in November 2010.[56][57]
19 November 2019 Unidentified synagogue New York City, New York, United States Matthew Mahler and Christopher Brown Mahler and Brown were arrested at Penn Station after posting on social media that they wanted to "shoot up a synagogue and die." Brown was arrested with an illegal firearm, a large hunting knife, ammunition, and a Nazi armband. The online threat was first noted by the Community Security Service, which alerted authorities.[58][59] Jamil Hakime, who drove Mahler and Brown to purchase the gun pled guilty to a federal conspiracy charge in July 2023.[60]
  • 2011 – 2011 Manhattan terrorism plot. Failed plan by radical Muslims to bomb a synagogue.
  • 2018 – Los Angeles synagogue attack. Man tried to run down two men exiting a synagogue, while yelling anti-semitic remarks.[61]
  • 2019 – Failed plot to bomb the Temple Emanuel Synagogue in Pueblo, Colorado and poison its members. The would-be perpetrator pled guilty in 2020.[62]
  • 2022: On November 1, 2022, Omar Alkattoul from Sayreville, New Jersey, used social media to send a manifesto with a threat to attack a synagogue based on his hatred of Jews. Alkattoul pleaded guilty to one count of transmitting a threat and was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison on November 14, 2023.[63][64]
  • 2023 – Thwarted mass shooting plot targeting a synagogue in East Lansing, Michigan.[65][66]

See also edit

References edit

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  3. ^ "Maryland Grand Jury Indicts Electrical Worker for $200,000 Bombing of Synagogue". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. 26 February 1969. Retrieved 29 January 2024.
  4. ^ Green, David (28 October 2018). "From Lynchings to Mass Shootings: The History of Deadly Attacks on Jews in America". Haaretz. Retrieved 20 November 2018.
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