Olami vandalized by man wearing keffiyeh
Photo: TJP Staff
Rabbi Jak Rubin, co-director of Olami with his wife Yaffa, was the master of ceremonies for an interfaith solidarity rally for Israel on Oct. 15, 2023.

TJP Staff Report

An outlet of Dallas Area Torah Association was vandalized Tuesday evening, Nov. 7. Shortly before 7 p.m. in the South Eruv, a man, wearing a keffiyeh, ran up to the home of Rabbi Jak and Yaffa Rubin and ripped down their Israeli flag. The man then yelled and brandished his arms in the air before getting back into the vehicle. 

The incident was caught on tape by the Rubins’ security camera and lasted about 14 seconds.

Rabbi Rubin is the director of Olami Dallas. He says that 95% of his organization’s programming is home-based.

Rubin said that three of his four children were sleeping and he was preparing to begin a class, when people heard yelling outside. His wife walked outside, looked around and didn’t see anything. At the same time, Rubin said his phone alerted him that his security camera had captured activity outside his home.

“I see somebody going up against the house. And I see exactly the clip. And the individual is dre ssed in a keffiyeh and he goes up against the house and kind of rips something down and starts yelling and then holds up his arms and then runs off onto the right side [out of the frame].”

Rubin said he immediately went outside and found what he had already suspected. Their Israeli flag had been torn down.

Rubin said someone at his evening class posted the incident and news of the vandalism circulated around the community’s WhatsApp group quickly. Initially a student at the Rubins’ home called 911, and was told to file a report online.

Photo: Screenshot
A frame of the security video from Rabbi Jak and Yaffa Rubin’s home in the South Eruv  Nov. 7, 2023.

Rubin filed a police report online, and when asked whether a hate crime had occurred, he answered affirmatively. 

Rubin said the police initially came to the home around 2 a.m. and again Thursday morning. Videos from neighbors’ homes showed the man entering a getaway vehicle, but didn’t add much else.

Rubin said he filed a report with Bill Humphrey, director of community security with Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas, as well as the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

Rubin believes this to be an isolated incident, but he and his wife are taking security more seriously.

“There’s more vigilance and discussing of increasing our security and just figuring out exactly how to go about it,” he said.

One thing he decided to do was to carry a weapon at all times. Rubin said that he has noticed that more people in the community are carrying a gun since Oct. 7. 

“It’s not that there’s any more people becoming gun owners, just that somebody who already was a gun owner and carried on occasion [is doing so now]. Now I do see it going on a little more.”

After the incident, an Israel flag went back up on his home. “It’s business as usual,” he said, referring to Olami’s programming resuming.

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