Mayor Ashman Issues Statement About Vandalism at Shaare Torah

judashmanGaithersburg Mayor Jud Ashman has issued a statement about the vandalism earlier today at Shaare Torah Synagogue. You can read it below:

“This morning the City Council and I were informed that Shaare Torah Synagogue in Gaithersburg was defaced overnight with swastikas and other racist references. An investigation by the Gaithersburg Police Department is ongoing.

“Gaithersburg is not a community that will tolerate such a hate crime. We are an inclusive community, one that prides itself on diversity and collaboration. When such a despicable act is committed, it impacts all of us, regardless of religion, race or creed.

“Last night at the Mayor and City Council meeting we proclaimed April 12 – 19 as Days of Remembrance in the City of Gaithersburg. National Holocaust Remembrance Day is April 16. We were pleased to be joined by Rabbi Jacob Blumenthal and Shaare Torah Executive Board President Connie Liss, whose parents both survived the Holocaust.

“In proclaiming the Days of Remembrance, we talked about the moral responsibility of both individuals and governments to protect individual freedoms. We talked about the importance of remembering the genocide that occurred during the Holocaust, and we talked about promoting human dignity and confronting hate wherever it occurs.

“It is obvious that remembering is not enough. With the vandalism that occurred at the synagogue last night, we must continue to battle racism and be diligent about understanding and embracing all those in our community, no matter who they are, where they come from, or what they believe.

“The City of Gaithersburg stands by the congregation of Shaare Torah, and in so doing we stand for tolerance, understanding and dignity, principles that are at the very core of our community.”

Gaithersburg Teen Charged With Shaare Torah Vandalism Pleads Guilty

Sebastian Espinoza-Carranza

The teen, who was arrested and charged with vandalizing a Gaithersburg synagogue, pleaded guilty on Tuesday, according to court documents. Sebastian Espinoza-Carranza was charged with defacement of religious property, damage to a religious institution, and malicious destruction of property for the antisemitic graffiti found on Shaare Torah Synagogue in Gaithersburg back in April. His sentencing is set […]

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Gaithersburg Teen Charged With Shaare Torah Vandalism Regrets His Actions (VIDEO)

Sebastian Espinoza-Carranza Aline Barros

It was an emotional interview for Sebastian Espinoza-Carranza at his home in Gaithersburg. The teen was arrested and charged with vandalizing a Gaithersburg synagogue. The 18-year-old teen says he is not a racist person and that he is really sorry. The congregation’s surveillance video helped lead police to Spinoza-Carranza. It shows him allegedly spray painting swastikas, […]

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Closing Vandalism Case Was Important to Detectives (VIDEO)

Rebecca Innocenti 2

In this MyMCMedia extra video, Montgomery County Corporal Rebecca Innocenti says it was important for detectives to identify the suspects in the vandalism case at the Shaare Torah synagogue as quickly as possible:

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How Detectives Used 7-11 Surveillance Video to Solve Vandalism Case (VIDEO)

Rebecca Innocenti 3

In this MyMCMedia extra video, Montgomery County Corporal Rebecca Innocenti explains how detectives used video from a local 7-11 to find the masked suspect(s) in the vandalism case at the Shaare Torah synagogue in Gaithersburg.

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Vandalism Suspect: "I Really Regret What I Did, I'm Really Sorry" (VIDEO)

Sebastian Espinoza-Carranza

In an interview outside his Gaithersburg home today, the 18-year-old charged with vandalism at the Shaare Torah synagogue says he is not a racist person and that he is really sorry. “I want to say that I really regret what I did and I’m really sorry. I shouldn’t have done it. … I’m not a […]

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Police Announce Arrest in Shaare Torah Vandalism Case (PHOTOS & VIDEO)

Corporal Rebecca Innocenti answers questions from reporters at news conference.

From the beginning, video played a key role in the vandalism case at the Shaare Torah synagogue and today Montgomery County Police said it was a video from a nearby business that resulted in the arrest of an 18-year-old suspect. Corporal Rebecca Innocenti answered questions about the arrest of that teen in front of the […]

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Mother Says Alleged Synagogue Vandal Regrets His Actions

Sebastian Espinoza-Carranzo

The mother of the Gaithersburg teen charged with spray painting anti-semitic messages on a Kentlands synagogue says he regrets what he did. Sebastian Espinoza-Carranza, 18, of the 16700 block of Sioux Lane, was arrested on April 14 and charged with property damage to a religious institution, defacement of a religious property, and malicious destruction of […]

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Shaare Torah President Shares Thoughts on Arrest of Gaithersburg Teen (VIDEO)

Connie Liss

In this MyMCMedia extra, Connie Liss, president of the Shaare Torah Synagogue talks about arrest of a Gaithersburg teen for defacing the building on Main Street. Liss warns against complacency: Related coverage:

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Police Arrest Man in Synagogue Vandalism in Gaithersburg


A man is under arrest this morning in connection with the vandalism of the Shaare Torah Synagogue on Main Street in Gaithersburg. Montgomery County Police announced Wednesday morning that the man was arrested this morning but provided no additional details. More information is expected at noon. Last week police said they had identified a “person of […]

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Council President Leventhal on the Shaare Torah Vandalism Case (VIDEO)

Vandalism at Shaare Torahin Gaithersburg for slider 450 x 280

At his weekly briefing on April 13, Council President George Leventhal called the vandalism at Shaare Torah synagogue a “hate crime” as he shared his thoughts on the April 7th incident. Take a look:

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Sonya Burke

About Sonya Burke

Sonya Burke is the Multimedia Manager at Montgomery Community Media (MCM). You can email story ideas at or reach her on Twitter @SonyaNBurke.


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