Worshippers at Manchester synagogue are sickened when a troll hijacks their Zoom services by changing his photo to a swastika, and shouting 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 Manchester synagogue were made sick by a troll who hijacked their Zoom service, changing its image to a swastika, and shouting anti-Semitic abuse.

On Friday evening, ‘violent’ or’shocking’ intruders attacked Manchester Reform Synagogue’s online service.

Rabbi Robyn Ashworth Steen called the incident an “invasion” and stated that the attackers changed the synagogue’s online photo to a swastika in order for it to appear on all screens.

She said that it was obvious that someone was trying get in through the waiting area. People kept coming in with different names, so it was quite apparent that something was wrong.

“What we didn’t realize was that someone was already in.

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

Manchester Reform Synagogue’s online services were hijacked by an anonymous troll shouting anti-Semitic abuse

“About halfway through their service they started shouting. They changed their picture to a Swastika and a lot of racist images were popping up.

The meeting was being held online as usual on the weekly Jewish holy days when people began to try to join the call.

Rabbi Steen stated that the vile incident was ‘obviously planned’.

She continued, “It felt as though an invasion was taking place and even though it wasn’t online, it felt violent.”

“Our services are safe spaces and it was just really shocking to people. Many of our members have family members who are survivors of the holocaust.

The synagogue was recently used for filming a scene for BBC’s Ridley Road, in which fascists enter. 

“The support from Greater Manchester from both within and without the Jewish community has been incredible and that has really helped.

“We don’t want to add fuel to the flames but it’s very important that we highlight when such things happen.”