For nearly 40 years, Paul felt safe in the home he shared with his family in Montgomery Glen, a quiet neighborhood in North Wales.

That security was shattered Wednesday morning, when his wife walked out their front door to attend a service at their synagogue and found swastikas crudely painted on the windows of her car.

"Cleaning the paint, that's relatively easy," said Paul, who asked the Inquirer to withhold his last name for fear of retribution by the vandals responsible. "What's harder to fix is the feeling of security, the shattering of the environment of a place where I felt safe. That is something that will take a bit longer."

The anti-Semitic graffiti is under investigation by police in Montgomery Township, one of five incidents in Paul's neighborhood committed the night before Halloween. His neighbors' homes were defaced with profanity, as was his.

But his wife's car was the only one in the area to be tagged with swastikas.

Police Chief Scott Bendig said Friday that his department considers the graffiti a hate crime, at least preliminarily.

"Obviously, this is very disturbing," Bendig said. "We're taking it very seriously in light of what happened this past weekend."

He said it was unclear whether the couple were targeted, pointing out that the vandalism came on a night characterized by pranks and property damage.

Paul doesn't know why his house was chosen. And at this point, with the damage done, he is focusing on moving forward with his life. He has good reason to: He and his wife are in the middle of frenzied preparations for their daughter's wedding, scheduled for Nov. 10.

But, he admitted, the shock and the anger at the vandalism are hard to overcome, especially the hatred behind the symbol painted on his wife's car.

"Whoever did this, I want them to sit down and talk to a Holocaust survivor," he said. "I want them to understand what this was: It wasn't just defacing property. It was putting a stain on six million people that died."

Paul shared his thoughts Saturday afternoon after Shabbat services at Temple Sinai, his local synagogue. This week's service was dedicated to the victims of the Tree of Life shooting in Pittsburgh, where a gunman opened fire on a congregation last Saturday morning, killing 11.

It was a "big turnout," he said, a gesture that heartened him after having to unexpectedly confront hate in his driveway.

"In my family tree, I have baby names listed of people that died in the Holocaust, and I always wonder what other family I would've had if they hadn't perished," he said. "By now, I could've had another branch of my family to celebrate and spend time with."

Bendig said his officers have not yet identified a suspect in the vandalism. Anyone with information is asked to call Montgomery Township police at 215-362-2301.