Volunteer washes off antisemitic graffiti from Northshore Synagogue
Stephen Landeche, the owner of Absolute Pressure Washing in Sildell, was so sickened by the reports that he read of the antisemitic slogans, white supremacist references and swastikas that had been spray painted on the rear of the Northshore Jewish Community’s (NJC) building that he decided to take the matter into his own hands.
On Friday morning, armed with his pressure washing machine and chemicals that had been supplied to him gratis by one of his suppliers, Service One, Landeche removed the offensive material from the bricks that had been spray painted late Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning. He did so without permission, but no one at NJC is upset at his taking the initiative. They had already vowed at a meeting of their board last night to remove the anti-Semitic graffiti today.
“It made me mad,” Landeche said in a telephone interview with the CCJN. “I had the capabilities to do something about it.” Landeche explained he had previously used the same chemicals to remove so-called tags by graffiti artists on walls adjacent to Children’s Hospital near Audubon Park.
Service One donated the chemicals and Landeche donated the equipment and time through his company.
“I don’t have the money to give to people that donate to this, but I do have the time, the knowledge and the materials to take care of it,” he continued. “That’s just wrong on so many levels. If you don’t agree with somebody, you don’t agree with somebody. You take your opinion and you go on your way.”
When informed that what he did would be considered a righteous act, a mitzvah, Landeche expressed thanks, adding “I’m not Jewish, but that’s just wrong.”
The removal of the graffiti ended the initial discussion and pushback of the NJC, the victims of antisemitic slogans and Nazi symbols painted on their building. However, it is only the beginning of what they intend to do in response.