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California Police Investigating Vandalism Of Iranian-Jewish Synagogue

Police released this image of an intruder who vandalized an Iranian-Jewish Synagogue in Los Angeles. December 14, 2019

California police are investigating the vandalism of an Iranian Jewish community place of worship in Beverly Hills.

It happened about 2 a.m. on December 14 at the Nessah Synagogue, 142 S. Rexford Drive, Beverly Hills police Lt. Elisabeth Albanese said. Investigators believe a lone suspect forced entry into the synagogue, she said.

On Saturday morning, December 14, an employee arrived at Nessah at to discover an open door, prayer books were torn, scrolls crumpled, furniture overturned, and relics smashed inside the Beverly Hills Nessah Synagogue, which serves the area's large Iranian-Jewish community.

However, the locks on the cabinets were not touched, and the assailant left no trace of anti-Semitism.

Police said they are searching for one man caught on video breaking into the synagogue and ransacking it, the Times of Israel reported.

"Enough is enough, from the East Coast to the West Coast, Jewish communities are under attack," said Vered Nisim, the Israeli-American Civic Action Network (ICAN) California chairwoman, a local NBC affiliate reported. "Just a few days ago Jews were killed in Jersey City, and now today this vandalism. How many Jews have to die and how many synagogues have to be destroyed before serious action is taken?" Nisim said.

The synagogue was established in 1980 for Iranian Jews who fled to Los Angeles County after the downfall of Iran's pro-West Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, and the Islamic Revolution of 1979.

Today it functions as a significant religious, educational, and cultural center, where Hebrew language and Iranian Jewish history is taught, Jewish Press reported.

More than 120,000 Jews used to live in Iran during the reign of the Shah.

Nonetheless, based on the latest Iranian census, the remaining Jewish population of Iran was 9,826 in 2016.