Rabbi Victim of Anti-Semitic Vandalism In Dallas

A group of anti-Semitic vandals attacked the car of a Dallas area rabbi.

Rabbi Yaakov Rich leads a group worshiping at his home in Dallas.  The neighborhood’s Homeowners Association (HOA) tried to stop the group from having their times of worship and tried to sue the Rabbi to make him stop.  A court threw out the case last month.

Last week, the city of Dallas sued him to make improvements to the home if he wants to continue to hold services.

Then he came outside Thursday to find s swastika painted on his car.

“As a Jew, the swastika is the most offensive symbol that there is. They didn’t just attack me, they attacked every Jew in the City of Dallas. I am very grateful, however, that the members of Congregation Toras Chaim are banding together to ensure that there is no disruption in our activities,” Rabbi Rich told CBS Dallas.

Justin Butterfield of the Liberty Institute told CBS Dallas that this is not the first time the group has faced vandalism.

“In orthodox Jewish homes, there is a little box on the doorway with a scroll on it with a scripture on it, and in the past, somebody had ripped that off of the doorway.  They’ve also had people drive in front of the home screaming obscenities at them,” said Butterfield.

Rabbi Nominated As Religious Ambassador For State Department

Rabbi David Saperstein has been nominated by President Obama to be the next ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom at the U.S. State Deaprtment.  Rabbi Saperstein would be the first non-Christian to hold the position since the job was created in 1998.

“I am grateful that Rabbi Saperstein has chosen to dedicate his talent to  service the American people at this important time for our country,” President Obama said.  “I look forward to working with him in the months and year ahead.”

Rabbi Saperstein now awaits Senate confirmation.

The nomination is coming after controversy.  The position was left unfilled by the Obama Administration for almost two years before Suzan Johnson Cook took the role in 2011.  She left in October during very visible times of Christian persecution around the world and the administration had not taken steps to fill the office for the last nine months.

Russell Moore of the Southern Baptist Convention took note of the nine-month delay in the President’s action but had praise for the nominee.

“Rabbi Saperstein is a respected thinker and leader who brings gravity to this important task,” Moore said.  “He has my prayers and my pledge of full cooperation.  The downgrade of religious freedom and the persecution of religious minorities around the world must end.”