The Holocaust Memorial in Marion Square was vandalized last week, according to police records and an announcement from the Charleston Jewish Federation. Phrases such as "Ashkenazi Jews" and "FAKE JEWS" were written in marker on a plaque at the memorial, according to an incident report taken by Charleston police.
Charleston Police were notified of the incident July 24 and are investigating it as a vandalism, while the Charleston Jewish Federation said the crime is rooted in anti-Semitism.
"When our memorials or our places of worship are targeted, it strikes fear into the hearts of all those who hold these spaces sacred," the group wrote in a press release.
Ashkenazi Jews are a group of observants descended from those who lived in the Holy Roman Empire of central Europe rather than those of Middle Eastern, Spanish or other origin.
The Jewish Relations Council also announced Friday it will work with Mother Emanuel AME Church and the Alliance for Full Acceptance to launch the Stamp Out Hate campaign. The initiative will advocate for hate crime legislation in South Carolina.
S.C. is currently one of three states in the U.S. that does not have a hate crime law in place. Charleston passed a local hate crime ordinance
of its own in 2018, which imposes the maximum penalty the city can levy, a $500 fine or 30 days jail time, to crimes deemed to be hate-related.