Chicago Loop Synagogue vandalized in suspected hate crime

Marcy Oster

(JTA) — A downtown Chicago synagogue was vandalized in what police believe is a hate crime.

The front window of the nearly 90-year-old Chicago Loop Synagogue was smashed early on Saturday morning and copies of swastikas were taped to its front doors.

Police were called at 12:30 a.m. on Saturday to the synagogue after construction workers saw the attack in progress, according to reports.

The vandal was caught on surveillance camera, which was released to the public later on Saturday. The vandal is a white male wearing dark clothing and a dark face mask. He is seen in the video getting out of a dark colored SUV and sticking the swastikas on the synagogue’s front door before smashing the building –high plate glass window with a metal object.

Police told local media they are investigating the incident as a hate crime.

“The Chicago Jewish community will not be intimidated by anti-Semitic attacks on a house of worship,” AJC Chicago Director Amy Stoken said in a statement. “The right of all religious groups to practice their faith without fear is a fundamental American value. Chicagoans must speak together clearly that the hatred behind this destructive behavior will never be accepted.”

Saturday morning Shabbat services went ahead as scheduled.