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January 31, 2022 2:30 pm
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Chicago Synagogues, Jewish School, Kosher Shops Targeted in Weekend String of Vandalism

avatar by Algemeiner Staff

Illustrative: Holiday shoppers walk past police cars at the Oakbrook Center shopping mall in Chicago on Dec. 24, 2021. Photo: REUTERS/Cheney Orr

Chicago police are investigating after a Jewish school and synagogue were vandalized with antisemitic graffiti on Sunday, a day after several other attacks on Jewish targets in the city.

At around 4:40 pm local time Sunday, a swastika was spray-painted on the F.R.E.E. Synagogue, after which the suspect attacked a man before fleeing the scene, ABC affiliate Channel 7 reported. A second incident took place at Yeshivas Meor Hatorah of Chicago, where a window was broken.

According to local Jewish communal group the Concerned Citizens League, two Jewish businesses — Kol Tuv and Tel Aviv Bakery — had their windows broken on early Saturday morning, as did another synagogue nearby.

The CCL said the man attacked on Sunday was a yeshiva student, and described his assailant as a “Middle Eastern man.”

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Police have said they have taken in one person of interest for questioning.

Rabbi Levi Notik of the F.R.E.E. Synagogue told CBS2 news that he was packing meals for local Holocaust survivors when they discovered the graffiti.

“It’s difficult, but we’ll overcome this,” Notik said. “We’ll get through it as a community. The way that we’ll overcome this darkness, this hate, is through love and kindness and positivity.”

Alderman Debra Silverstein issued a statement saying it was unclear whether the weekend’s incidents were connected or carried out by the same person, but said they “have all the hallmarks of hate-based crimes.”

“These incidents are particularly upsetting as they come mere days after Holocaust Remembrance Day and in light of a worrying increase in antisemitism across the nation,” she said.

“I want to assure everyone that the City of Chicago stands firmly with the Jewish community,” Silverstein added. “The police are taking these incidents very seriously, as am I and all the city leadership. Hate has no place in this neighborhood, and bigotry will not be tolerated.”

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