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Vandalism Prompts Closure of House of Israel at Balboa Park

Vandalism Prompts Closure of House of Israel at Balboa Park

The House of Israel at Balboa Park in San Diego. (Google Maps/Screenshot via The Epoch Times)

City News Service

City News Service

10/20/2023

Updated: 10/20/2023

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SAN DIEGO—Acts of vandalism prompted a closure Oct. 19 of the House of Israel at Balboa Park, one of a group of nation-centric cultural centers at the park designed to promote international goodwill.
The temporary shuttering of the cultural attraction on Pan American Plaza, near Spreckels Organ Pavilion, came after the cottage was maliciously damaged for a second time this week, House of Israel President Ruth Mastron announced Thursday in a social media post.
“You may have heard that a window was broken last night at the House of Israel,” Ms. Mastron wrote. “Fortunately we were closed, and no one was inside. However, this is the second time in three days we have had to call the police.”
It was unclear how long the center—one of 31 representing various international cultures at the park—will remain closed, though Ms. Mastron said a reopening would occur “as soon as possible in a way that will ensure the safety of our volunteers and visitors.”
“I continue to believe in the value of our core mission to welcome, inform and educate about our wonderful country of Israel, ancient homeland of the Jewish people,” she stated.
“But after a day of reflection, consultation, and soul-searching, I’ve concluded that we cannot guarantee the safety of volunteers, neighboring houses, and visitors. I could not live with myself if anyone were to be harmed because I failed to take the painful but necessary decision to close the House of Israel until further notice.”
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