Worshippers at synagogue sickened as troll screams anti-Semitic abuse

Worshippers at Manchester synagogue are sickened as troll hijacks their Zoom service by changing his picture to a swastika and screaming anti-Semitic abuse

  •  Attendees, including family members of Holocaust survivors, were left in shock 
  •  Intruders changed Manchester Reform Synagogue’s Zoom picture to a swastika
  •  Rabbi Robyn Ashworth-Steen said the incident was ‘obviously premeditated’
  •  The synagogue was recently used to film a scene in BBC drama Ridley Road

Worshippers at a Manchester synagogue were left sickened after a troll hijacked their Zoom service by changing its picture to a swastika and screaming anti-Semitic abuse.

Manchester Reform Synagogue’s service, which was being held online, was ambushed by ‘violent’ and ‘shocking’ intruders on Friday evening.

Rabbi Robyn Ashworth-Steen described the incident as an ‘invasion’ and said the offenders changed the synagogue’s online picture to a swastika so it would pop up on the screens of all in attendance.

She added: ‘It was clear that someone was trying to get in through the waiting room, people kept coming in with different names so it was quite clear that something strange was going on.’

‘What we didn’t realise was that someone was already in.

Manchester Reform Synagogue’s online service was hijacked by a troll shouting Anti-Semitic abuse

‘About halfway through the service they started to shout. They changed their picture to a swastika and lots of awful racist images were popping up.’

The meeting was being held online as normal on the weekly Jewish holy day when people started trying to enter the call.

Rabbi Steen said the vile incident was ‘obviously premeditated’.

She continued: ‘It felt like such an invasion and even though it was online, it felt violent.

‘Our services are a safe space and it was just really shocking for people. We have members of our community who have family who are holocaust survivors.

The synagogue was recently used to film a scene for the BBC’s Ridley Road in which fascists break in. 

‘The support from across Greater Manchester, from within and outside the Jewish community, has been amazing and that has really helped.

‘We don’t want to add to fuel to the fire but it’s very important to highlight when things like this happen.’  

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