Christian News from Scotland

News stories from Scotland and beyond

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

synagogue attacked by vandals

POLICE in Glasgow are hunting vandals who daubed the name of 'Hizbollah' outside Scotland's oldest synagogue.

Officers are investigating the attack upon Garnethill Synagogue in Hill Street, which dates back to 1879.

The name 'Hizbollah' was written in foot-high white paint just outside its main gates. It's the first time the A-listed building which also houses the Jewish Community Centre has been targeted.

The attack comes as the war between Israel and the group, also known as Hezbollah, intensifies and the death toll on both sides continues to rise, with no immediate ceasefire in the pipeline.

Synagogue president Gerald Levin, 73, said today: "I am sure this is linked to what is going on in the Middle East. We have never had problems like this before.

"We are talking about covering the windows with plastic to stop people being showered with glass if there was an explosion. We have also spoken with the police about CCTV."

Police are investigating the incident.

Garnethill Synagogue is Scotland's oldest purpose-built synagogue as well as being one of the oldest places of Jewish worship in Britain.

It was built to accommodate the growing population of Jews escaping persecution, mainly from eastern Europe.

Glasgow architect John McLeod designed the L-shaped building for the city's Hebrew congregation, which at that time numbered around 700.

It was constructed in a Byzantine and Roman style with Moorish touches that give it a similar look to London's Bayswater synagogue.

Garnethill Synagogue received a £600,000 facelift eight years ago in preparation for its 125th anniversary celebrations held throughout 2004. Local organisations and Historic Scotland helped with the work.

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