At about 4 a.m. the caretakers of the Lincolnwood Jewish Congregation, 7117 N. Crawford Ave., were awakened by the sound of breaking glass, said Steve Kramer, the synagogue's head of security.
The glass doors at the front of the building had been shattered by a brick and someone had scrawled "Free Palestine" and "Death to Israel" on the building in orange spray paint.
Recently the Israeli military has launched airstrikes and sent ground forces into the Gaza Strip, which Israel says is meant to deter rocket attacks by Hamas. The Chicago area has seen several protests the last two weeks, both pro-Palestinian and pro-Israeli.
The caretakers at the Lincolnwood synagogue reported seeing two men running from the temple, Kramer said.
Services were held at the synagogue this morning. "Everybody saw it," he said. "You can't walk in the front door; you have to walk in a side door."
"We're taking it seriously," Lincolnwood Police Lt. Mark Brines said.
Lincolnwood police believe the same people may also have vandalized two West Rogers Park synagogues in the 2700 block of West Morse Avenue and the 6500 block of North California Avenue.
Someone wrote "Death to Israel" in orange paint on the front door of Anshe Motele Congregation on California, said Rabbi Alan Abramson.
"We're not going anywhere," the rabbi said this evening; if people want to protest, "they don't have to deface a house of worship. ... Do it in a peaceful manner."
Lincolnwood and Chicago police are working with the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force on the incidents, which are being investigated as hate crimes.
Saturday, January 10, 2009
Chicago synagogue defaced
It is sickening and upsetting to see events of this nature happen. After one shul was defaced in the past two weeks here in Chicago, another shul gets defaced.