West Rogers Park synagogue vandalized

| September 21, 2010

Chicago police are searching for vandals that shattered windows and caused other damage at a North Side synagogue overnight.

Members of one of the three congregations that use Temple Menorah, 7350 N. California Ave., arrived this morning to find two broken windows at the building smashed and the canvas panels of a sukkah — a temporary hut used for prayers and celebration of Sukkot — slashed with a sharp object, said Doug Zelden, rabbi of Or Menorah Congregation.

"It's definitely a hate crime," he said. "We are appalled and disgusted."

Zelden said the vandals left no sign of their motive, but added that the damage could have been sparked by a recent article in the Tribune about the synagogue.

"It could have been anything," he said. "There are a lot of crazies out there."

In addition to Or Menorah, an orthodox congregation, the buiding houses a Reform congregation Temple Menorah and a Conservative Jewish Group, Ner Tamid Ezra Habonim Egalitarian Minyan.

Zelden said he was at the synagogue until about 11 p.m. Monday and suspects that the damage occurred in the early morning hours. The sukkah was in place this week as the congregation celebrates Sukkot, the rabbi said.

Police confirmed that a report had been filed and that Belmont Area detectives are investigating.

— Andrew L. Wang



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Category: Synagogue/Jewish Security