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Antisemitic letter, unknown substance found at Westside synagogue

Map showing location of synagogue

An antisemitic letter and a vial containing an unknown substance were discovered at a Pico-Robertson synagogue Tuesday morning, triggering an investigation into a possible hate incident, authorities said.

Police at the Los Angeles Police Department’s West L.A. station were alerted around 9 a.m. to the items found near Congregation Mogen David, a synagogue in the 9700 block of West Pico Boulevard, according to LAPD’s Sgt. Anthony Bonner.

A hazmat team responded and reported that the substance, which was not identified, was “not of danger to anyone,” Bonner said.

Police are investigating what appears to be a hate incident, Bonner said, adding that many details were being withheld in light of the ongoing investigation.

The letter and threatening substance had echoes of incidents in May, as deadly battles were being fought in the Gaza Strip. They included one in which a fight broke out outside a Westside sushi restaurant after antisemitic slurs were yelled at a group of Jewish diners.

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Prosecutors filed assault and hate crime charges against two men in connection with the attack. They’re believed to be part of a group of eight people who approached the restaurant in Beverly Grove and began cursing at several Jewish patrons before violence erupted.


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