Community leaders unite to condemn hateful synagogue graffiti

Clive Lewis, the Labour MP for Norwich South, spoke out in favour of rent unions. Photo: Neil Didsbu

Clive Lewis, the Labour MP for Norwich South, has sent a letter to Health Secretary Matt Hancock demanding urgent government action over the 'healthcare crisis' at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. - Credit: Neil Didsbury

Norwich community leaders have come together to condemn the daubing of a swastika and antisemitic slurs on the door of a city synagogue.

Members of the Adat Yeshua Messianic Synagogue were left in shock on Friday morning when they arrived for morning prayer to discover the hateful graffiti on the door of the Essex Street site.

Rabbi Binyamin Sheldrake outside the synagogue on Essex Street in Norwich

Rabbi Binyamin Sheldrake outside the synagogue on Essex Street in Norwich - Credit: David Hannant

The synagogue's rabbi, Binyamin Sheldrake, has spoken of his horror at finding the daubings and urged the culprits to own up and apologise. 

And he has been joined in condemning the message by community leaders around the city, united in a message that it was not acceptable and does not represent the city.

Graffiti daubed on the side of the Essex Street synagogue. Some content has been censored. 

Graffiti daubed on the side of the Essex Street synagogue. Some content has been censored. - Credit: Adat Yeshua Messianic Synagogue

Clive Lewis, MP for Norwich South, said: "Whatever the reasons for this act, I want to state that conflating acts of the Israeli government with all Jewish people is antisemitic. You don't stand up for Palestinian rights by spraying a swastika on a synagogue."

And a statement co-signed by councillors and faith group leaders across the city reads as follows:


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"We condemn in the strongest possible terms the cowardly antisemitic attack on Adat Yeshua Messianic Synagogue.

"There is no place for hate of any kind in our community. Hate causes problems across the world, including in the Middle East.

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"We stand together in our desire for peace and will not be divided."

The statement was co-signed by:

  • Emma Corlett, county council for Town Close
  • Karen Davis, Cate Oliver and Ian Stutely, city councillors for Town Close
  • Rabbi Binyamin Sheldrake
  • Amal Abdulhalim'd-Douglas, Ishan Mosque and Islamic Centre
  • Iftekhar Alan, trustee of Norwich Central Mosque
  • The Rev Richard James, Holy Trinity Church, Norwich
  • Alan Waters, leader of Norwich City Council
  • Steve Morphew, leader of the Norfolk County Council Labour group

A spokesman for Norwich City Council, added: "This is sad and shocking to see and we will not tolerate this kind of hatred in our city. We stand in complete solidarity with our Jewish community in Norwich and with people from all backgrounds and religions."

Anybody with information regarding the graffiti is encouraged to contact PC James McAvoy at Norfolk Constabulary on 101.

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