Streak of Anti-Semitic Violence in Illinois Continues

August 23, 2015  

The nine-foot menorah outside the Chabad Jewish Center at the University of Illinois (UI) was vandalized for the second time this year after being upended by a single assailant.

University and local police are investigating the incident with the help of security footage which caught the culprit on tape at around 6 a.m. last Wednesday. 

UI police also released still images and a video of a man pushing the menorah several times until it toppled over. They have called on the public to help identify the suspect. 

Damage is estimated at over $2,000 because the menorah was ripped off at its base. 

Rabbi Dovid Tiechtel of the Chabad Jewish Center said he is raising money to replace the vandalized menorah with one that is both larger and stronger. 

Anti-Semitic vandalism has been on the rise in Illinois in the past year with synagogues, universities and Jewish institutions all targeted.

One particularly frightening case was that of John White, who vandalized the Congregation Etz Chaim synagogue in Lombard last year and also apparently planned a shooting attack on the Jewish community. 

A wave of graffiti vandalism with anti-Semitic messages – apparently from the same tagger – was also uncovered throughout the West Rogers Park area of Chicago last December. 

More recently in June, anti-Semitic and racist graffiti, including a swastika, was discovered on a construction site at Northwestern University in Evanston. 

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