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Community responds after antisemitic messages discovered in Kensington neighborhood

Montgomery County Police investigating antisemitic flyers left in front yards of at least a dozen homes in Kensington.

KENSINGTON, Md. — Several residents of a neighborhood in Kensington were shocked to wake up to hateful messages left in their front yard on Sunday morning.

The Montgomery County Police Department said it is aware of multiple antisemitic flyers placed in lawns of at least a dozen homes overnight. A suspect has not been identified or caught.

A nearby home surveillance video captured who appeared to be the culprit stopping by several homes on Brookfield Drive near Parkwood Drive.

"This scared me and shook me to my core knowing I walked right out and someone who clearly doesn't like me, clearly hates me and clearly thinks I'm taking over the world, walked three feet up to my house and put something there," Carrie Zolan, a Jewish resident, told WUSA9. "In my entire life of where I've lived, I've never had that."

Each flyer was placed in a Ziploc bag containing rice. Neighbors said many of the homes targeted had mezuzahs out front.

"They didn't put it on every single house, but a lot of the Jewish houses got it," Zolan added.

If you have information that could help the investigation you're encouraged to contact 240-773-TIPS.

The incident comes after other antisemitic incidents took place at three Montgomery County Public Schools. Swastikas were drawn into desks last week. 

"These attacks are meant to instill fear to weaken and divide our communities, but these are generating more support for our Jewish neighbors," Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich said in a statement. "We are united and are showing those who are pedaling hate that these antisemitic attempts at community disruption won't be tolerated."

"Montgomery County is home to one of the most diverse areas in the nation," he continued. "We are proud of that diversity and antisemitic activities do not reflect our community values. It’s not the Montgomery way."

In the recent Anti-Defamation League report released last year, the organization said there has been an alarming level of incidents reported across D.C., Maryland and Virginia with a notable increase from the year before. 

In 2021, the most recent data in D.C. showed 53 incidents, which determined a 179% increase; 55 in Maryland showed a 175% increase and 46 in Virginia showed a 64% increase, all when compared with one year before in 2020.

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