Lincoln Police Department officers arrived at South Street Temple on Wednesday to discover an orange swastika painted on the steps.
According to LPD public information officer Erin Spilker, LPD is investigating this as a hate crime, and 1011 NOW reported that the temple's surveillance footage shows that a man spray painted the symbol and took of photo of it.
Rachel Crable, president of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Hillel/Jewish Student Association, found out about the incident from a friend. She had heard about crimes against Jews occurring in New York, but she never thought a similar crime would occur in Lincoln.
“I didn’t realize it was something that would happen so close to home,” she said. “ … it’s a matter of ‘when’ rather than ‘if’ it’s going to happen. And that’s really, really, really sad and scary and hard to think about.”
Crable said the temple has previously had guards stationed outside the temple during services, and she suspects that will happen again. The incident does not impact her faith, and she’ll likely still attend services on Friday.
LPD requests citizens report any local vandalism that used orange paint to the department to help with the investigation, according to a statement.
Editor's Note: This article was updated at 10:23 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 15, to include new information related to a suspect.