Miami Beach

Swastika found at Miami Beach synagogue. FBI and police are investigating

Congregation Beth Medrash Levi Yitzchok Lubavitch  at 1140 Alton Road, Miami Beach.
Congregation Beth Medrash Levi Yitzchok Lubavitch at 1140 Alton Road, Miami Beach. Google Maps

Miami Beach police are investigating a swastika found painted on one of the posts at the Congregation Beth Medrash Levi Yitzchok Lubavitch across from Flamingo Park.

Miami Beach police spokesman Ernesto Rodriguez said detectives were called to the site Wednesday morning but, at the moment, are unsure when the vandalism occurred. “Detectives are reviewing surveillance video with staff to gather more information,” he said.

A security guard noticed the spray-painted swastika and an upside-down cross on a white decorative sphere at the property’s entrance after 6:30 a.m., WPLG Local 10 reported.

The building, at 1140 Alton Road, has been a center for Jewish education and training since the 1970s. The multistory building is home to the Haim and Gila Weiner Florida Lubavitch headquarters. Situated directly across Alton Road from Flamingo Park’s football field, the Lubavitch site also is home for the Yeshiva Gedolah College, a four-year private rabbinical institution.

The incident comes slightly more than two weeks after 11 people were shot and killed while worshiping in the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. Robert Bowers, the suspect, has been charged with 44 hate crimes, a federal offense.

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Students there have published numerous volumes of the “Shaarei Yeshiva Gedolah,” a set of books discussing Talmudic law and Hasidic philosophy.

If you have any information you can notify the FBI, which investigates hate crimes, at 800-225-5324 or at or Miami Beach Police at 305-673-7900 or Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-8477 or

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Miami Herald Real Time/Breaking News reporter Howard Cohen, a 2017 Media Excellence Awards winner, has covered pop music, theater, health and fitness, obituaries, municipal government and general assignment. He started his career in the Features department at the Miami Herald in 1991.