Police investigate smashed window at Skokie synagogue as hate crime

Delaney Nelson, City Editor

A man smashed a window at the Persian Hebrew Congregation with a large pole Sunday afternoon. Skokie Police Department is investigating the incident as a hate crime, according to a Sunday news release. 

The police responded to the incident at around 3 p.m. Sunday, and found a shattered front window, a broken stick and a “Freedom for Palestine” sign on the ground beneath the shattered window. 

Investigators believe the attack was “directly tied to the ongoing, heartbreaking violence in Israel and the Palestinian territories,” according to a Wednesday news release from the Illinois Jewish Legislative Caucus. 

ILJ condemned the anti-Semitic vandalism at the Persian Hebrew Congregation in the news release. The release said the attack was clearly intended to cause harm to members of the Skokie Jewish community and that ILJ “antisemitic violence escalates and festers if not checked.” According to WTTW, the Skokie population is approximately 28 percent Jewish.

State Sen. Laura Fine (D-Glenview) and Reps. Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz (D-Glenview), Robyn Gabel (D-Evanston) and Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago), members of the caucus, signed the release.

“Peaceful demonstrations and the exercise of free speech are the cornerstones of our democracy. But vandalizing a synagogue isn’t free speech— it is simply a hate crime,” the release said. “Objecting to the policies of a government is always legitimate. Attacking American Jews for the actions of a government, let alone one thousands of miles away, is always antisemitic.” 

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Twitter: @delaneygnelson

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