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Boynton Beach couple says they're victims of hate crime after religious books were damaged, defaced

Anti-Semitic message written on bottom of box containing books
Posted at 1:51 PM, Dec 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-04 18:57:05-05

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. — Their loved ones were killed by Nazis during World War II. Now a Boynton Beach couple said they're the victims of a hate crime.

Their religious books were damaged after being sent in the mail.

Hindy and Michael Kierman both share a connection to the Holocaust.

"Both my wife and I have been raised as Orthodox Jewish families and we keep that tradition," Michael Kierman said.

But their faith was shaken after recently relocating to Boynton Beach.

"We sent nine boxes from our home in East Brunswick, New Jersey," Kierman said.

The Kiermans said they mailed the boxes through UPS at the beginning of November, but only seven boxes arrived. One is still missing, and the ninth box ended up in Boca Raton.

"We don't know how it arrived there because clearly all nine boxes were supposed to be shipped to this address in Boynton Beach," Kierman said.

MORE HEADLINES: Palm Beach County School Board fires ex-Boca Raton principal after Holocaust controversy

When the Kiermans tracked the box down, it's what they found inside that made their blood boil.

The Five Books of Moses were torn and damaged. The Kiermans also said an anti-Semitic message, too graphic to show, was written on the bottom of the box.

Kierman family's defaced religious books next to photograph
Hindy and Michael Kierman's damaged religious books rest near a family portrait.

"When that happens to you personally and you know what your family went through prior, it's deeply upsetting," Hindi Kierman said.

The Kiermans told WPTV they filed a report with the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office and tried contacting UPS for weeks but didn't get a call back until WPTV got involved.

Matthew O'Connor, a senior manager of media relations at UPS, released this statement to WPTV:

"This is a very serious and unfortunate incident. We are investigating the situation and working with the Kiermans to resolve the matter. There is no place in any community for bigotry or hate, and UPS will take all of the appropriate steps based on what we learn from our investigation."

"I also just want people to know and to be aware that this is what's going on. It's closer than we think," Hindi Kierman said.

The couple also told WPTV they received an email from UPS saying the company will reimburse them hundreds of dollars for their missing items inside the box that never arrived.

The UPS investigation into what exactly happened is ongoing.