Phoenix family find anti-Semitic graffiti around their home

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The Simones say someone spray-painted a swastika and the word "Jew" in black on their mailbox. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The Simones say someone spray-painted a swastika and the word "Jew" in black on their mailbox. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
The Simones say the reality is too disturbing to sweep under the rug. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The Simones say the reality is too disturbing to sweep under the rug. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
They're sharing what happened, hoping show others that this type of hate still exists. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) They're sharing what happened, hoping show others that this type of hate still exists. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

On the day we celebrated our independence and our freedom of religion, a Phoenix family was dealing with a hateful crime.

Ari and Shoshana Simones, a young Jewish couple living off of Glendale Avenue near the State Route 51 say in the four years they've lived in their home, they’ve never been targeted.

They say someone spray-painted a swastika and the word "Jew" in black on their mailbox.

"My heart just kind of sunk and I was just sad and disgusted really," said Shoshana.

[RELATED: Symbols, words of hate spray painted on gravestones at historic migrant cemetery]

A neighbor tried to cover up the ugly message with paper, writing them a handwritten note to let them know what happened.

But the Simones say the reality is too disturbing to sweep under the rug.

"As Jews we are very aware of anti-Semitism, of bigotry and hate in general," said Ari.

[RELATED: 'Hate flyers' distributed to dozens of Scottsdale homes]

They say this type of graffiti is especially painful because Ari's grandparents are Holocaust survivors.

Now they're sharing what happened, hoping to show others that this type of hate still exists.

"People need to know that there are people who are ignorant and hateful and have these feelings and do these types of things in the world, and hopefully that can be dispelled through awareness," said Ari.

[RELATED: Chandler police arrest 4 in Menorah vandalism hate crime]

They're not going to cover it up just yet. They say on Sunday morning they're inviting their community to come and repaint the mailbox in positive messages together.

"The word ‘Jew’ isn’t a slur to me. I am a Jew. I’m proud to be a Jew, so maybe we'll add 'proud' over ‘Jew’ where it's written,” said Shoshana.  

There was more similar graffiti on the fence north of their home. But the fence is the property of the neighboring public elementary school. The Simones say they plan to call the school district to alert them to it. 

[RELATED: These are the new symbols of hate]

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Lauren ReimerLauren Reimer joined the 3TV/CBS 5 family in June 2016. She is originally from Racine, WI but is no stranger to our heat.

Click to learn more about Lauren.

Lauren Reimer

She previously worked for KVOA in Tucson, covering topics that matter to Arizonans including the monsoon, wildfires and border issues. During the child migrant crisis of 2014, Reimer was one of only a handful of journalists given access to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection detention facility in Nogales, where hundreds of unaccompanied children were being held after crossing into the U.S. from Central America. Before that, Reimer worked at WREX in Rockford, IL. Lauren is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee and still visits home often. When not chasing news stories, Reimer loves to explore, enjoying everything from trying new adventurous foods to visiting state and national parks or local places of historical significance.

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