Anna Church hosted Bent Melchior, Denmark’s former chief rabbi, for a Sunday talk related to the 70th anniversary of Denmark’s liberation from Nazi Germany.
Prior to the event, unknown perpetrators painted the phrases “Free Gaza” and “Close the KZ camps” on the church’s main door and threw bricks through some of its windows.
“Not to be immodest, but I must admit that this was meant for me. I’m sad to see that there are such idiots out there and I am sorry that I was cause of something like this,” Melchior told Politiken.
Copenhagen Police said that it is treating the vandalism as “politically motivated”.
Denmark’s small Jewish community – estimated at no more than 8,000 people – has been on edge since gunman Omar El-Hussein shot and killed a Jewish volunteer security guard outside of a Copenhagen synagogue in one of two February 14-15 shootings that rocked the nation.
Last month, a Jewish store in Copenhagen had a window broken and an anti-Semitic slur scrawled on its wall.
Even prior to the attack, Denmark’s Jews reported that anti-Semitic acts were on the rise.
In January, following the killing of four Jews in a kosher supermarket in Paris, the Jewish Community of Denmark called for police protection at the synagogue and its Jewish school.
Back in 2012 Israeli ambassador Arthur Avnon advised visiting Israelis against obvious displays of their religion or speaking Hebrew in public. A Jewish community organization had also urged parents with children in the Jewish school in Copenhagen to take extra precautions.
And last summer's bitter fighting between Israel and Palestinians in the Gaza Strip brought a flurry of anti-Semitic acts, ranging from insults to physical assault. Authorities reported 29 such acts in six weeks from July to mid-August, more than throughout all of 2009.
Political leaders responded by organizing a "Kippah march" through central Copenhagen and Nørrebro, home to many Middle Eastern immigrants, which passed off peacefully.
But less than a week later the Jewish school Carolineskolen was daubed in anti-Semitic graffiti and its windows smashed.