Members of Temple Beth Israel find closure during Hanukkah weeks after letters are torn down

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- As the celebration of Hanukkah continues, congregants of Temple Beth Israel now have a deeper understanding of the tradition.

"To have our sign made whole again is exactly the sense of that dedication that Hanukkah means," said Rabbi Rick Winer.

It was five weeks ago when the letters spelling "Israel" were removed, after an interfaith gathering remembering the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting victims.

"Whoever had torn them down left them in the bushes which means we were able to send them for forensic investigation," Rabbi Rick said.

Fresno Police have been working closely with the FBI -- treating this as a hate crime.

Though they're taking extensive measures to ensure congregants safety, it's something Rabbi Rick Winer says will always be in the back of their minds.

"It shakes one's world. The complacency that some people have is gone to some extent," he said.

Rabbi Rick says their faith has always dealt with overcoming adversity, but now they're taking a proactive approach, enhancing security measures. Chief Dyer even provided critical incident training, like what to do in an active shooter situation.

"What is the responsibility of those in attendance, what are some things they can do to protect themselves. what are things they can do to keep everyone safe," Chief Dyer said.

Police can't comment on video obtained from neighbors but say they are exhausting all leads, to make an arrest as soon as possible.

"We won't tolerate it. We are going to investigate quickly and do everything we can to make sure it doesn't happen again," Dyer said.
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