Berkeley police arrest man for alleged hate crime at synagogue

Photo of hate crime arrest location
UC Berkeley alumnus Anatoly Smolkin was arrested by Berkeley Police Department officers on suspicion of a hate crime.

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Berkeley Police Department officers arrested a man on suspicion of a hate crime after he yelled antisemitic statements at a Berkeley synagogue Aug. 7.

Anatoly Smolkin, a 37-year-old man and UC Berkeley alumnus, allegedly entered the Congregation Netivot Shalom, a synagogue on University Avenue, at noon and interrupted its morning service with threats of violence against Jewish people, according to a Berkeley press release.

Police later located Smolkin, who is also a disbarred attorney, in front of Chabad House, a synagogue half a mile up on University Avenue, where he was yelling after he had been refused entry, the press release added.

“The commission of a hate crime is a serious offense, which will not be tolerated in the City of Berkeley,” the press release reads.

Contact Annika Kim Constantino at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @AnnikaKimC.