KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -- When Rabbi Yitzchak Itkin walked into the Chabad on the Plaza on Tuesday morning, he found "papers and books everywhere, electric wires ripped out, plumbing cut with water pouring everywhere."
The collective vandalism was massive, with the organization immediately launching an effort to receive donations to recover.
"There is nothing more disturbing than walking into the Chabad house for an early morning Torah class and finding the place torn up," the rabbi said on Facebook. "That was my reality this week."
Police were called to the location around 1 a.m. Tuesday from someone in the area who reported hearing glass break and then a black SUV driving off from the Chabad. Responding officers noticed the north side window broken into and shattered glass on the ground, according to a police report from the Kansas City Police Department.
Police later encountered a black SUV fitting the description of the suspect vehicle, but it left at a high speed, and police were unable to catch up with it.
Itkin went to Facebook to request help from the community to secure a temporary location for the Chabad on the Plaza, "a home where we can pray together, learn together and experience Judaism together."
The rabbi likened the vandalism to a familiar story from Judaism's past.
"This was the reality of the Jews when they entered the Temple during the story of Chanukah. They found a Temple destroyed and defiled and instead of sulking they went right to work to find the jug of oil. They found the jug of oil and lit the menorah and the rest is history. WE are going to find the oil and rekindle our Menorah," Itkin said. "As a community, we will emerge stronger than before, with the knowledge that during a time of crisis, we came together. We prayed together, learned together, laughed together, baked together, cried together, and we were inspired together. As a community we grow together. This campaign is an opportunity for us to give, together. Chabad on the Plaza, we are better together."
The rabbi laid out how people can help:
For just 54 hours, you can partner with us and support Chabad on the Plaza. Every dollar you donate will help us continue to serve the Jewish community of KCMO, and continue to be a source of hope, joy, meaning and inspiration for so many. Today you can help the Chabad on the Plaza raise 54,000 in 54 hours and be a part of a community that comes together in challenging times. Help us create Positivity.
Every dollar is Matched. 3 Times.
Every penny counts. Every dollar counts. Every person counts.
If you have any questions please email: Rabbi@PlazaChabad.com or call: 816-200-1770