Onset synagogue plans to replace windows after vandalism this spring

Jul 18, 2021

Approximately six windows at the synagogue in Onset were broken in a suspected act of vandalism sometime in March or April, according to Eli Hauser of the Beth Israel of Onset synagogue. 

There was no indication that the vandalism was directed at the synagogue intentionally or was a targeted anti-Semitic act, he said.

Hauser said it appeared as if someone had taken a stick and hit the windows that face Onset Avenue. “It was just unpleasant vandalism,” he said.

The synagogue, located at 7 Locust St. in Onset, is only open during the summer months. The windows were broken in the off season, so exactly when the vandalism occurred is unclear. 

“Coincidentally, it’s a synagogue,” Hauser said. “I’m willing to bet they had no idea, because we take the sign off in the winter — as much for the fact that we don’t have services as the fact that it’s winter and we don’t want the display to get ruined by the snow.” 

Wendy Hauser said they think it’s likely the synagogue’s windows were broken because it was “a building that was there.”

Eli Hauser said he reported the incident to the Wareham Police Department.

Beth Israel of Onset plans to replace the windows, but he said the damage was an “unexpected expense” that would cost “a few hundred” dollars. 

Hauser noted a handful of people who noticed the broken windows had recently reached out to express their support for the synagogue. 

“We got an email that said, ‘I’ve been here my whole life, I love seeing the community, and can’t believe this [happened],’” he recounted. “So that was really nice.” 

The Hausers emphasized that the community has supported the synagogue during its more than 70 years of operation. 

“Onset has always been welcoming to all types and everybody,” Wendy Hauser said. “We’ve always felt welcome here. [...] We love our neighbors and we love Onset.”

Those interested in supporting the Congregation Beth Israel of Onset on Cape Cod can make a donation on Paypal using the “Donate” button on their website www.capecodshul.org

Checks made out to “Beth Israel Onset” can also be sent to P.O. Box 24, Onset, MA 02558.